Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Wall Street Journal Takes its Ideology Out for a Bolivian Spin

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published another opinion piece on Bolivia from its columnist Mary O’Grady. I really wasn’t going to write anything about the column because, frankly, I (and most of the journalists I know) don’t take Ms. O’Grady’s writing all that seriously. But since a number of readers have specifically written to me and asked me to write something about the article, here goes.

One does not have to get very far into the article to get its basic gist:

A dictatorship that fosters the production and distribution of cocaine is not apt to enjoy a positive international image. But when that same government cloaks itself in the language of social justice, with a special emphasis on the enfranchisement of indigenous people, it wins world-wide acclaim.

This is Bolivia, which in two weeks will hold elections for president and both houses of congress. The government of President Evo Morales will spin the event as a great moment in South American democracy. In fact, it will mark the official end of what's left of Bolivian liberty after four years of Morales rule.


There are many different kinds of writers in the world. Some work hard to stay strictly neutral. Some have leanings they don’t hide but also take their analysis seriously. And there are others – on both the left and right – who for some odd reason really do believe that exaggeration and wild charges are the basis of good writing. A journalism teacher could make valuable use of Ms. O’Grady as a case study of the third.

To be clear, there are plenty of legitimate complaints that one can make about the Morales/MAS government. A possible list could include: It’s proclivity to put people in positions of power based on political loyalty rather than competence; it’s amplification of polarization in situations where it could instead help make the country more united; its tendency to toss out charges against people and governments without actually having the facts to back up the claim; and its antagonism toward its critics on the right and left. I have written about each of these issues at different times.

But a dictatorship? Please, give us a break. It dilutes a word that we ought to save for the real dictators that have plagued the world, like Pinochet in Chile in the 1970s or Ceausescu in Romania in the 1980s. It's about the same as those who tried to label George W. Bush a "fascist," another word we should reserve for the real ones.

I am pretty sure that regardless of the vote December 6th, Bolivians will wake up December 7th with their basic liberties still in tact, Ms. O'Grady's deep concerns for them aside.

In a country that has been led for decades by unpopular leaders that won the presidency with barely a quarter of the vote, Evo Morales keeps winning political majorities double that and more. If recent polls are correct Morales is likely to be elected once again on December 6th with a majority even larger than the 53% that put him into office four years ago. Is he powerful? Yes. He is powerful because he is popular and he is popular for good reason. His government is genuinely making an effort to lift up the lives of people who have been neglected and exploited by a string of previous governments.

Is Bolivia an authoritarian society? Have a look at the opinion pages of any of the Bolivian dailies if you have any doubt about whether there is room for dissent. A good many of the articles there make even the O’Grady piece look mild.

As she often does in her writings about Bolivia, O’Grady doesn’t do very well with basic facts:

Upon taking office in 2006, Mr. Morales began using his office to persecute officials of previous governments.

If O’Grady is talking about a WSJ favorite, former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and his aides, she might want to check the calendar. The prosecution of the former President was initiated before Morales became President, by a Congress still-controlled by Sánchez de Lozada’s own political party.

Like I said, I really don’t take O’Grady’s writing seriously enough to go through it line by line and point where her love of exaggeration gets in the way of real analysis. Others here can engage in that if they wish to. But this one line did catch my eye:

Mr. Morales is expected to win re-election easily, in part because in many areas that he controls voters will be escorted into polling booths to make sure they choose correctly.

It made me think of my Tiquipaya neighbor, Efrain, a young man who comes from a small pueblo in the hills above the Cochabamba valley – a place of llamas, and poverty and decades of social neglect by a string of Morales predecessors (and O’Grady darlings). This morning he told me he was voting for Evo on December 6th. I asked him why. He explained that since Evo took office his village has electricity and water service and a new high school, things it never had before.

Sitting in her New York office (has she actually ever been to Bolivia?) Ms. O’Grady wouldn’t have any conversations like these. For her and her editors, ideology is enough. More serious analysis is actually not of much necessity or interest.

It’s a pity really. There was a time when the Wall Street Journal did serious reporting in Latin America. I think back to the long piece its then-South American correspondent Marc Lifsher did in 2003 on the failures of the U.S. alternative development program in its War on Drugs. That was based on real reporting, the kind that makes a reporter brave bad roads to tough places to get hard facts.

And it is that sort of journalism that seems of little interest to O’Grady and the WSJ today.

52 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your response just shows how biased YOU are, Jim. You romanticize Evo Morales too much. You think democracy is only about elections and not about strenghtening institutions. You dislike strong truthful opinions that differ from yours. In other words YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!
(Thanks, Jack)

O'Grady realizes that "democracy" is not only about elections and rightfuly worries about the downward spiral Evo Morales is dragging Bolivia with him.
Is Bolivia an authoritarian society, you ask? Ask Victor Cardenas' family, who were almost lynched by a pro-MAS drunken mob. Ask the politicians who can't proselitize in El Alto or Achacachi lest they risk being honored with "communitarian justice." Ask the owners of the radio/TV stations blown up by the military. The manner of new constitution was illegally set up in a military garrison. The amount of government led deaths more the the "genocidal" Goni. I can go on and on and on.

There's a reason why O'Grady writes for a world famous newspaper and you don't. Get over it.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:55

Evo is the president chosen by the clear majority of the voters of Bolivia. If you belive in democracy I guess you and Miss O'Grady will just have to get over THAT, no?

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bolivia se constituye en un Estado Unitario Social de Derecho Plurinacional Comunitario, libre, independiente, soberano, democrático, intercultural, descentralizado y con autonomías. Bolivia se funda en la pluralidad y el pluralismo político, económico, jurídico, cultural y lingüístico, dentro del proceso integrador del país."

Behold Article 1 of our constitution, wherein the western term of greek roots "democratico" is not first in the list, if Ms. O'Grady took the time to notice. Maybe because we hadn't reached the "end of history" and these terms can change and evolve, maybe because democracy is also more than economic freedom for those who have capital to begin with and institutions which are riddled with the corrupt cronies of the past.

Seriously, if one takes ANY political science course, they will learn that first and foremost within "INSTITUTIONS" we find:

1) the Constitution
2) the LAWS
3) the institutions created to uphold the above.

In a Constituent Process, obviously, step one has finalized, and step 2 is coming up. Will our political opposition be up to the task? Fat chance. Will civil society, even that which is opposed to this political process, react? I have high hopes.

A Unitary, Social, Plurinational State, free, independent, sovereign, democratic, pluralist.... all these things have deep meanings to millions of Bolivians who voted Yes for our new Constitution last January 25th... whether those who voted and campaigned against agree or not... the simple democratic fact is that 61% of the population wanted this Constitution along with its new laws and new Institutions, and that is more than can be said for any of the previous constitutions or the lower case "i" institutions which they left behind.

But, the crux of the matter is that WSJ was recently purchased by Carlos Slim, and that speaks for itself.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evo will win cause Bolivia deserves a president like Evo and a Govt. like the current one cuase its a clear reflection of most Bolivians: UNA MIERDA. We are as a society in general are rotten to the core, I used to really believe in Bolivia and a chance for change, I actually thought that with more education we would advance as a country, but were actually worst. Things are going down the drain cause now instead of having people who are more educated and honest, we have SMARTER CROOKS who know that by keeping most of the population misinformed they can get what ever they want. What ever happens after dec. 6th what ever disasters Evo makes we deserve it becuase most Bolivians deep down arent good people. Were way too selfish to think about a the greater good, this goes both ways right and left new crooks old crooks, the few Bolivians who actually try to do things honestly are the fools who pay for the "pendejes" of the rest of the country, Doubly acounting to hide taxes, bribing oficials to change laws, etc. etc. EN POCAS COMO LA MOYORIA DE LA GENTE EN NUESTRO PAIS ES UNA MIERDA, MERECEMOS UN GOBIERNO DE MIERDA, Y HASTA QUE COMO BOLIVIANOS NO MEJOREMOS NUESTRO MORAL/KARMA/CINISMO/APATIA NOS MERECEMOS TODA LA MIERDA QUE SE VIENE.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AAAHHHHH I almost forgot, Mexico found a Substantial Litium deposit, so we know where smart investors who dont want their companies nationalized and factories taken over or blocked by strikes, will go. Why in hell would any one want to risk their money in Bolivia when they have a much safer choice.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analysis Jim, I hope some other journalists/bloggers pick up your comments.

These type of articles should not surprise us, coming from Miss O'Grady who has shown the same fact-checked, unbiased and accurate reporting on Bolivia and the region in the past:

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/al-giordano/2005/06/welcome-comrade-mary-anastasia-ogrady

Another commentator suggested you may be envious of her being "world-famous"? You should instead by jealous of the money Miss O'Grady and her colleagues in the WSJ are cashing in from lobbyists in Washington for articles like these:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/world/americas/08honduras.html

Unfortunately, there are plenty of spin doctors out there trying to confuse the US public with their delusional re-writing of any event.

Yes, Mr. Micheletti is a democrat and Evo is a dictator; Elvis is alive, and Paul is dead.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""""Seriously, if one takes ANY political science course, they will learn that first and foremost within "INSTITUTIONS" we find:

1) the Constitution
2) the LAWS
3) the institutions created to uphold the above."""

So why did the world interfere in German internal affairs concerning Hitler's "Jewish solution?" The "Jewish solution" was upheld by the German constituion, LAWS, and INSTITUTIONS. Democracy is more about elections. Remember that Hitler was democratically elected as well. Or Hussein, Castro, and the Politburo, for that matter.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim (et. al.) should keep in mind that this was an OPINION piece, not a report about facts. The piece is nothing but how the editorial board of the WSJ interprets what they've heard about what is going on in Bolivia. I for one, agree with about 2/3 of what they had to say.

I would not say that Ms. O'Grady does not have a right to an opinion just because she's never been to Bolivia...it would be like saying Jim cannot blog about Afghanistan simply because he's never set foot on Tora Bora. Now, I think she is well informed and that her views are reasonable? Well that is more debatable.

We can list hundreds of human rights violations that Evo has incurred, from his day as a cocalero (simply because he did not agree with what another DEMOCRATICALLY elected government did) to today and his negation of due process to political prisoners. On this however, he is probably scoring par for the course as far as how things get done in Bolivia.

Is Evo a dictator? Are the facts that Ms. O'Grady use to illustrate her point correct? No and yes. Evo might have won an election does not give one a carte blanche to do away with democratic institutions, due process, and the rule of law. Even if he had 99% of the vote, he cannot have his people beat up people simply because they do not agree with him. He got his way with the Hidrocarbon Law and the CPE, and yet the first thing he does once these were approved was to violate them.

Ms. O'Grady does not lie when she describes how the Constitution was approved, how congress has had sessions under siege, or other disturbing events (I, however, don't think Evo personally gets a cut of all the cocaine made in Bolivia.) There is no judicial power and even today, there are judges in hunger strikes asking for simply their day in court. So while he might in power, he has not tried to work or even establish democratic processes to help Bolivia. Nothing is more damning than his constant use of Decreto Supremos to rule the country, this in my opinion his greatest sin is that he does not care for creatign consensus (a clear violation of the andean cosmovision) and all of his speeches are always full of hate, calls to violence, and above all intolerance for diverging views. So I would say Evo is more of a bully, used to being the manda-mas in the sindicato, and thus never had the opportunity to develop the skills needed to create a shared vision for the country.

I highly doubt that Evo has been able to deliver electricity, water and schools to the campesinos. Not only because vast portions of POAs and budgets do not get executed, but also because the economic stats of the INE would reflect this. Evo will win again simply because the mayority of people in Bolivia have no viable alternative.....and yes Jim, campesinos do face consequences if they don't vote MAS, just like they face consequences if they don't set up a road blockades. I think you have a lot to learn about Bolivia, probably more than Ms. O'Grady, she at least has the facts right and needs to understand the Bolivia context. As someone living in Bolivia, your list of Evo's complaints includes mere peccadilloes, not the juicy stuff like the incident with the Andrade couple, the silent support to Iran's bloody repression, etc. etc. I would expect something better from you. After all a democracy is built on institutions and laws, not ideology or a cult of personality.

-chasqui

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:08 Huh? Can you rephrase your argument to be about current Bolivian politics and democracy and I will be glad to engage in debate. My point is that the typical attack that "Evo is destroying institutions" ignores the fact that a new Constitution is the mother Institution.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"EN POCAS COMO LA MOYORIA DE LA GENTE EN NUESTRO PAIS ES UNA MIERDA, MERECEMOS UN GOBIERNO DE MIERDA, Y HASTA QUE COMO BOLIVIANOS NO MEJOREMOS NUESTRO MORAL/KARMA/CINISMO/APATIA NOS MERECEMOS TODA LA MIERDA QUE SE VIENE."

4:08, Do you have any constructive proposals to change this description of our nation, which I partially agree with? I hope its not to vote Manfred or Samuel, then what is your point? Give up and move North? Then good luck to you sir/madam but I see many, many honest and good people still fighting for the country that we deserve, and I place my bets with them.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chasqui,

You might want to mention that the reason that the Constituent Assembly met in a barracks was because the oppostion shut the whole thing down in Sucre, violently, for two months. I can understand why the WSJ might want to omit that fact (it tsmpers with her argument) but let's at least put all the facts on the table, no?

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bolivia will continue to be a shithole. With or without Evo.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,
Did you ever think of making people sign their names to their comments so as to avoid some of the more horrible, inflammatory, etc. comments like some of those above?
Dave Kane

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should clarify, at 5:58 I partially agreed with some of the actual points made by 4:08, not the actual paragraph I quoted or the other crap that his/her points were buried in.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Ms. O'Grady does not lie when she describes how the Constitution was approved, how congress has had sessions under siege, or other disturbing events'
The constituyente was moved to army barracks after bussed in right wing thugs set fire to the building, attacked lawmakers and even managed to kill one.
I remember the opposition spent almost an entire year on the Dos Tercios campaign to persuade the Bolivian people Morales' govt was abusing the existing constitution's by claiming it only needed an absoloute majority in the assembly to pass each new point in the new constitution.
Leading opposition figures called him a fascist, a communist, a dictator, a devil, etc, much like some of the more extreme rightwing posters who post here due to it.Some even turned up in their 4X4s to go on hunger strike until it got unhealthy (in a rather sick and self obsorbed, nay mentally ill, parody of those actually starving through genuine poverty).
Morales eventually held a live televised event from the Palacio Quemado.It was on a rainy Sunday night.I watched it.Did you?
If you did you would have seen him sit and explain face to face with almost all the main opposition figures, including Costas, that what he was doing was legal.He had a copy of the Bolviian constitution in his hand.They had theirs in front of them as few appeared to want to be seen to pick them up to look at them.
He went point by point through all the opposition charges, discounting them by reference to the constitution and asking, finally if anyone had anything to say.
Finally one lonely opposition senator, I think it was, stood up and, like a chastised child, complained that the real issue was about the fact they felt unhappy.They didn't like what he, sir, was doing to THEIR country.
Any specific points of law when confronted live on national television in the Bolivian oval Office, a copy of the constitution in yours and everyone else's hands?
Nothing.
The problem is a lot of these rich and affluent people are spoiled, like children, because they expect other people to serve them and a lot of that petulance and viciousness comes through - both here and in Mrs. Mary Anastasia O'Grady's borderline psychotic rantings.
Her boss,Rupert Murdoch, a man who believed the Iraq war was a good idea on the grounds it would drop the price of crude oil to $20 a barrel would be proud, I'm sure.
I just hope there's no hell at the end of all this, for her sake.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact, if the Bolivian government had any media savvy, they would get a copy, dub it into English, German, French, Chinese and god knows what else and put it on You Tube.O Gravy might even be able to watch it (unless Rupert has restricted his temps' internet access, of course).

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The constitution had to be approved with a 2/3 majority.When Morales understood he didn't have enough support,he illegally had it approved by a slim majority in a military garrison. That's thugocracy anywhere in the civilized world.
On a funnier noteand more relevant note,all hail thw World's Worst e-fit Sketch.(only in Bolivia, of course) Arrest Scarecrow!

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Bolivia-Worst-E-Fit-Sketch-Helps-Police-Arrest-Suspect-In-Taxi-Driver-Rafael-Vargas-Murder/Article/200911415465584?lpos=World_News_Carousel_Region_4&lid=ARTICLE_15465584_Bolivia%3A_Worst_E-Fit_Sketch_Helps_Police_Arrest_Suspect_In_Taxi_Driver_Rafael_Vargas_Murder

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is democracy mobs surrounding the Congress? Is 50% of the votes a reason to kill? Yes I agree this election is the end o democracy in Bolivia. Jim open one eye so you get your writing right.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were no innocent actors in Sucre. MAS and their supporters simply did not have the numbers to do as they pleased and they were simply not willing to seek out a compromise. The opposition used chicanery and other tactics (that curiously when used by the left they are called 'heroic' and 'patriotic') to try to stall the process to the point were the whole thing was going to be void. I supported them because there are several things I do not agree with in the CPE. From creating classes of citizens to outlawing insulin, the CPE needed a lot of cleaning up, it is more like a Reglamento, than a framework and very far from a social contract agreed upon by all. Just like that "chastised child" a constitution has to make EVERYONE happy, or at least equally dissatisfied. Constitutions that are imposed by a majority are destined to fail, and Evo's CPE won't last.

Regardless, nothing justifies or legitimizes what Evo did. The oposition could have set siege and set the whole place on fire and still what Evo did would have been illegal. Further, aside from approving the CPE in a military garrison, there were more procedural violations that, if we had a Supreme Court a la US, the CPE would be simply declared null and void.

So I agree wholeheartedly, let's put all the facts on the table, let's put aside this hypocritical attitude that one side can kick, scream, use violence, and even kill and it is all ok, while the other side simply has to sit there and take it. At the end of the day, the overall conclusion the Ms. O'Grady has some merit. While Evo might not be a Dictator according to Hoyle, he's a bully, he does not care for consensus, balance between opposite, giving a voice to all, and sharing power. All of these are at the core of a democratic society and driving principles of the andean cosmovision. It is not about following 500yrs of oppression with another 500yrs of more injustice. Two wrongs will never make a right and having 2/3 of the vote will never make you automatically an infallible statesman.

-chasqui

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, then there is that minor complication that the Bolivian constitution was enacted after it won with more than 60% of the vote. It is interesting to see how many people here refuse to acknowledge that Morales is what the vast majority of people want and is doing what the vast majority of people want. Since they don't like him he is just undemocratic no matter what -- and Goni who couldn't top 25% is a democratic saint.

60% of people in the US can't even agree on the rght way to cook a turkey.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone's really out of touch with the way things are in Bolivia. Evo you have taken a dictionary, called it the CPE, and it would have still had 60% approval. Your analogy to US turkey habits only confirms your ethnocentrism.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy thanksgiving,ya evoloving turkeys! hahahaahha!

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really have to love this guy:

"someone's really out of touch with the way things are in Bolivia. Evo you have taken a dictionary, called it the CPE, and it would have still had 60% approval. Your analogy to US turkey habits only confirms your ethnocentrism."

You call 60% of Bolivians stupid and then think that cooking a turkey is ethnocentric. My country didn't start no war in Iraq fool, that was you guys.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a blog post in Spanish out there, entitled "Homenaje a Destiempo" which I will not link to directly in the hopes of throwing off the lazy global trolls and intelligence operatives who haunt this site. It is a homage from an excellent Bolivian journalist and blogger, to the success of our new biometric electoral registry, with 5 million voters enabled to vote on Decebmer 6.

It is a homage to the Bolivian people, to civil society, who made this thing work despite the idiocy/chicanery of the opposition political class demanding a new electoral registry just 9 months before an election. Despite the fact that our old electoral registry had been audited and approved by the UN, the OAS, and the Carter Center.

December 6 will be a great day for Bolivian democracy, with an election that no one can dispute (despite recent issues that have come up, and the predictable chicanery and propaganda which the right will try to inundate us with in the next three weeks, still stuck in their echo chambers).

While "There were no innocent actors in Sucre", the end result is we do have a new Constitution, and we will have free and fair elections, exactly as demanded by the political opposition.

It's time for people to move on, and work on building instead of criticizing or complaining.

Why is Ana Maria Romero, ex Ombudsman, reknowned journalist and human rights activist, the first Senatorial candidate for MAS in La Paz?

Why did opposition Senator Roberto Ruiz, in Tarija, declare his critical support for Evo Presidente against the far right candidacies of his old comrades?

'the times, they are a changing'

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought you'd like to see a response posted on the WSJ comments section on O'Grady's piece. We also sent a letter to the editor but I can't imagine it will be published.

Mary Anastasia OGradys Nov 22 column about Bolivias upcoming elections is full of inaccuracies and invective. Rather than respond point by point, which would take more space than available here, we would like to point out three facts. In 2002 Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada received 22% of the vote and assumed the presidency at the head of an unstable coalition. His inability to respond to the crisis his policies brought about led to political unrest that culminated after 67 died when he authorized the use of lethal force on civilians. He resigned and fled the country and faces extradition charges. The US District Court of Southern Florida recently ruled that a case against Sanchez de Lozada for crimes against humanity and extrajudicial killings could move forward.
In December 2005, following constitutional procedures, Morales was elected with 54% of the vote, beating his closest rival by over 20 points, the most decisive election victory since the 1982 return to democracy. Since that time, over 100 international observers have monitored a recall election (Morales won 67% of the vote) and a constitutional referendum (which passed with 61%). There were few complaints of irregularities.
Anastasia OGrady should recognize Morales is an extremely popular president in the process of consolidating a weak state in a peaceful manner. The Morales administration has expressed interest in improving relations with the United States, which would serve long term goals of economic and democratic stability in Latin America.


Gregory J. Sobetski - Littleton, CO/Lima, Peru
Pien Metaal- Transnational Institute, Amsterdam
Henry Stobart, Senior Lecturer, University of London
Roberto Calzadilla, Bolivian Ambassador, the Netherlands
James Vondrace , Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)
Gary L. Cozette, Chicago Presbytery Congregations in Solidarity with Latin America, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Clayton Mendona Cunha Filho, South American Political Observatory - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Meghan Kallman, Marketing & Communications Director, Boston, MA
Fernanda Pernasetti, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Patricia Lavelle, Attorney, The Legal Aid Society, New York
Linda J. Carraway, Tampa, Florida
Ben Felson, School for International Training Student, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Philip A. Amerson, President, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois
Mark W. Harrison, Director, Peace with Justice Program, United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
Dr. Sinclair Thomson, History Dept., New York University
Martha Deputy, Witness for Peace, Washington, D. C.
Emily Achtenberg, Urban Planner, Boston, MA
Maria Arroyo, South America and the Caribbean World Mission, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Dr. Jose D. Rodriguez, The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Dr. James Kenneth Echols, President, The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Dr. Carol Conzelman, Colorado
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Northern Illinois Conference, United Methodist Church
Dr. James Dunkerley, Andres Bello Visiting Professor, New York University
Coletta Youngers, Senior Fellow, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Ivonne Camacho Omiste, La Paz, Bolivia
Maria van Heemstra (US citizen) World Council of Churches,

Geneva, Switzerland
Sylvia Camacho, World Council of Churches (WCC)

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This response to the WSJ's Evo's article is hilarious!

http://www.borev.net/2009/11/i_aint_the_one_motherfuckers_a.html

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

"Upon taking office in 2006, Mr. Morales began using his office to persecute officials of previous governments." I just think the conservatives are still scared that Obama will one day go after Bush and Cheney. So, they need to remind everyone that anyone who wants to prosecute (not persecute) leaders for breaking laws resulting in human deaths must be somehow despicable.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, it's a most lucrative time for the NGO's and church's who can sit from their pretty offices in Switzerland and Scotland collecting grants, basically just pointing fingers, writing and taking pictures, and contributing to political polarization. What have you actually done for Bolivia except point out what's wrong? If you have done anything, i'm am sure it is on a temporary basis, just to get your toes wet a little.

Who cares if they can build a school, who will run it? Look at El Alto and Viachi, how many buildings have been built up there.... 75% of them are empty.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an interesting alliance taking form: Castro, Chavez, Morales in South America / Iran & Ahmadinejad in the middle east, and Mugabe in Africa.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6927299.ece

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck all you who spin stories. You too Schultz

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I triple heart Mary O'Grady. Thank goodness for her columns, which are like a beacon of light in this world of darkness and putrid corruption Morales and his envious minions have enveloped us into.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heart bypass Mary O'Grady. She is an awesome fiction writer and I think people should just leave her alone.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting that we're back to "worthy" and "unworthy" victims yet again. Nobody cares to mention (except Jim) who were the real victims of pre-Morales Bolivia. Somehow this world order where 5% of the rich hold 90% of the wealth is ok. Same was happening in Bolivia. Now when those 5% (note a precise stats of course but you know what I mean) are affected, we'll call it a dictatorship.
Aleksandra

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order for you to talk about democracy in Bolivia, i yhink you should at least learn and discuss about the 400,000 ghosts in the electoral pattern today and the fraud that is being staged in order to morales to win the upcoming elections.

And if you don't think that putting people to jail blindfolded and tortured with out even a warrant or a fair trail (like evo morales is doing with his political adversaries)it's not a example of dictatorial ways, i don't know what is....

Sincerely, a really concern bolivian citizen....

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is 50% of the votes a reason to kill? Yes I agree this election is the end o democracy in Bolivia."....In the US it was in fact a reason to kill, but it wasn't quite the end of democracy....mabye that is the underlying difference between the two countries

ANON 8:30...that is one of the better posts ive read...rich spoiled babies(prob. only a minority of los ricos, but still the loudest and most powerful)....we are seein a lot of this in the US now against Pres. Obama

The Wall Street Journal will continue to be a shithole. With or without Ms O'Grady.

JD

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not enough that Morales has become Chavez ch'api(mutt for ya snobby libs who don't know the Inca language), he now became another panting kalb (doggie for all you infidels) to iran's Aquavelvidaj.
The female employees of an El Alto third rate hospital "donated" by the Iranians are obligated to cover up their heads with a cloth in order not to offend the "islamic culture".
Could this be happening in el Alto?? The heroic antimperialist village that chronicaly protests foreign interference(Venzla,Iran,Cuba don't count) and once bootted out a French water provider? I didn't know Sharia law would start in the Altiplano.
The leader of the sovereign cocastate barks nothing.

Morales a Chavez ch'api and an iran Kalb? You bet!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I get it, you'd rather him turn Bolivia into Mexico so that those who have, steal even more and those who don't...well, who cares about them anyway?! That's called progress.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous dig it said...

like a rolling stone.... like a rolling stone
like the FBI
and the CIA
and the Bee Bee See!

Mary Mary quite contrary.

(resume el griterio de sordos)

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Evo a dictator? Is the moon made of cheese? Why gringos believe that paying the Wall Street corrupted so called journalist are honest?
Why rich bolivians are full of it? BEcause idiots with money are polluting minds around the world. Thanks to Wall Street, even the Washington Post today in its editorial talks against Bolivia.
Money talks, money talks, crooks abound everywhere, only a few sincere objective journalist are around. After all even the VOA transmits in over 140 radio stations in Bolivia. But the itch of WSJ claims we have a dictator. Please, is the Company In Action kicking hard again now that the embassador is back under a different "detail"?

Turkey day, thanksgiving to the crooks of the world, how about the middle classes in the world? Screw from above and from bellow.

"Boludo libre" keep making an ass of yourself writing nonsesne in these comments above, by the way does anybody reads your web page? ja, ja.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ogrady article probably hits some nails on the head about Morales....but comes off extremely biased for completely glossing over the corruption of Goni de lozada....she makes it sound as if Santa was chased out of the north pole by the grinch and a few roadblocks....

mabye Col. Ollie North is licking his chops to get back into business with the narco-terroists

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i usually enjoy reading the readers comments after an article or opinion piece (as i enjoy reading the posts here), but the comments after ogradys article are worse than pathetic, very sad how ill informed readers of the WSJ are......

that was also me above at 1:09 am and i meant to put quotes on the 'narco-terrorist' at the end....my point was almost every country has them, even/especially the US, and sadly enough they are often high ranking militars...ms ogrady makes it sound as if they only wear ponchos rojos

LOVE YA BOLIVIA! See you in a few weeks!

JD

7:54 AM  
Blogger thundercats8 said...

I think that this site will answer any unanswered questions you might have about the Bolivian Government.

http://tvlab.tv/motocite/

This is the real Truth

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evo Wins his votes because: 1) a great major of his voters don't speak, read, nor write spanish(Quechua or Aymara Speakers Only) and they blindly folow him because they look like him, 2) because he supports large coca production (He was and still is a Coca Growing Union Leader) (Leading to more cocaine)(Not that Coca leaves are just a drug but, you don;t need Acres and Acres of Coca bushes, Just to support the Chewing, tea drinking and PachaMama Rutuals) 3) Oh fake ballots Don't help either, Look in to it, There is proof of Double and Tripple Voting)
4) He also rewrote the constitution to help his leftist, Andian, agenda
Like giving owned unused farm land (Not open unowned Forested land) (in the bolivian Lowland) to his Andian kin, more or less robbing land from poor land owning people from the orient of Bolivia(which he does not like)
!Fuerza Camba,I'yambe!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is clear that there is a concerted effort to undermine the Morales Government by some so called "think thanks" in the US.

The WSJ and the Washington Post should be ashamed to be used in this fashion. I wonder whether they made similar condemnations of the recent Karzai "win". There is a country teeming with "anti drug" American money and military resources, US military and mercenaries for hire, that just happens to be the world's top drug producer.

How about the "stable nation" of Mexico where mangled victims of the drug war are found daily?

Let's not even mention Colombia, another link in the Bunker States the American government supports.

Franco
__________________________________________________________________

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia | Narco-trafficking cartels are migrating to the Andes region in Bolivia, where a diminished U.S. presence has allowed a boom in cocaine production and the opening of new drug routes, regional anti-drug officials say.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/27/drug-lords-find-haven-in-bolivia-after-us-exit/?feat=home_headlines

The Times quotes Bonner referring to Mexican law enforcement five times, and mentions that America spent $700 million on “a security agreement including the U.S., Mexico and the countries of Central America to combat drug trafficking, transnational crime and money laundering.”

http://www.examiner.com/x-2879-Austin-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m11d17-Whats-wrong-with-Mexico-Corruption-or-American-guns

Corruption infecting the Afghan government's highest levels, coupled with unhelpful Western meddling along the way, crippled efforts to effectively battle the country's burgeoning opium trade, says the country's former counter-narcotics minister.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hazsPs45jZuNU0OyAboy9w12FtFA

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article I cited above comes from the Washington Times (a Unification Church paper) not the Washington Post. Imagine that the WSJ joining hands with a "moonie" paper.

Anyway, I am sure the Washington Post editorial staff will be out with their own anti Evo piece in days to come.

Franco

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morales and his ilk should get a clue from where REAL democracy works:tiny Honduras. My deepest respect and admiration for the Honduran people for choosing democracy despite intense pressure from those who hate democracy and freedom.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hogwash, 8:39.

http://www.la-razon.com/versiones/20091130_006927/nota_244_917173.htm

This is interesting: "García Linera anuncia que se debe formar al sucesor de Evo"

VP went on live national TV, and announced that neither he nor Evo will seek re-election in 2015. Though he leaves clear that the political project which they have started, will continue for decades, they are looking to form successors from within the ranks of Assemblypeople and social movements.

Why isn't this headline flying everywhere? Bet nobody got emails from their concerned Bolivian family about this very clear statement.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The level of trust I have for Linera is as much as I have for the Ekeko to be an Ekeka. Linera has lied more times than hairs he has on his head and chinny chin chin.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the latest column from the invaluable Ms. O'Grady commenting on the restoration of Honduras democracy with the recent presidential elections and how it's bad news for self-styled autocrats like Chavez and his lapdogs. It lists the winners and whiners(losers).

Have fun, Mr. Shultz.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703939404574566150432623012.html

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama, Hillary are the pseudo-democrats controled by the same lobbysts and the industrial-military contractors complex who managed Busch.

Honduras now is again under their their full control. Gorillas, a military coup disguised as a legal constitutional procedures. ja, je, There are some people who actually believe that crap.

Shame on obama and hillary, no wonder that they are loosing support, even Palin is getting publicity these days. The world of disney-clowns and puppets trying to make the world believe that "Hope and Change" are possible.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'Grady really outdid herself in that piece about Honduras. It's almost comical. The one about Bolivia almost sounds like a serious one in comparison. Does she actually get paid for it?! Geez, what a robbery.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democracy in Honduras survived. The representatives of the people (Congress) have backed the elections and prevented the power thirsty Zelaya to return to power. Good riddance.

12:40 PM  

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