The Democracy Center Book Tour, U.S. Bolivia Relations, and More

The Democracy Center On-Line
Volume 85 – April 7, 2009
The Democracy Center Book Tour, U.S. Bolivia Relations, and More

Dear Readers,

In this issue of our newsletter we bring you three topics of interest:

  • A report from our U.S. book tour
  • Our inadvertent April Fools Day hoax
  • Some recent writings on the state of US/Bolivia relations

We also know that some of our readers are interested in receiving more frequent updates from the Democracy Center, and in particular Bolivia news. With our new Democracy Center updates you can have highlights from our Blog and other new materials delivered every two weeks to your in-box. If you are interested, you can subscribe here.

Jim Shultz
The Democracy Center

The Dignity and Defiance Book Tour!

The U.S. tour for our new book, Dignity and Defiance, Stories from Bolivia’s Challenge to Globalization, is now done. We began in San Francisco the first week of February, then traveled onward to Portland, Seattle, Santa Fe, Washington, New York, Boston, the Twin Cities, and Chicago. The tour finally ended the last week of March in Gettysburg.

Along the way more than 2,000 people came out to see us, including many of you. Thank you to everyone for your great support.

As I said often along the road – We don’t care if you buy it, steal it, or copy it, but please read the book. We wrote and published Dignity and Defiance to help educate our friends and readers about how things work in a globalizing economy and about what we need to do to push that global economy in a more just direction.

So read the book. Talk about it. Share it with others. Tell your sister to read it, or your son, or your grandmother. Tell your professor to make it a reading for a course. Write to us and let us know what you thought of it. Write a review in your organization’s newsletter, or on Amazon, and let other readers know what you thought about it.

Here are some links to more from the book and our tour:

Dignity and Defiance on Amazon: Buy it or write a review!
A Video of our University of Washington Event: Watch it!
My interview with NPR Chicago: Have a listen!
Blogs from the Book Tour: Have a look!

Our April Fools Day (Inadvertent) Hoax

As readers of the Democracy Center Blog know, April Fools Day is something we take seriously. In past years we have treated our readers to such tales as a World Bank program to export Bolivian rocks and new visa rules requiring U.S. visitors to Bolivia to purchase and wear the same sweater worn by President Evo Morales.

Adorned with doctored photographs, these posts have actually been taken as fact by some unwitting readers. But no April Fools post has been believed by so many as this one we ran last week, which was reprinted as ‘real news’ by the Huffington Post, USA Today, and US News and World Report, bringing a record 8,500 visits to our site in a single day:

Morales Charges U.S. Conspiracy to Force Bolivia onto Daylight Savings Time

President Evo Morales, equipped with a wall clock as a prop, charged Tuesday that the U.S. Embassy in La Paz is engaged in clandestine effort to coerce Bolivia to adopt Daylight Savings Time, moving the nation’s clocks forward and backward an hour in coordination with the U.S.To back his claim Morales released a set of intercepted e-mail messages between the Embassy and State Department officials in Washington.”We have seen the government of the U.S. try to undermine our democracy, block us from the lawful export of coca products, and smuggle in munitions. But now we see that these conspirators also have their sights set on changing our clocks. We denounce this before the world community.”

Read the entire April Fools post here.

U.S./Bolivia Relations in the Obama Era

Many people asked on our book tour whether U.S. relations with Bolivia — so combative during the Bush era — might become more cooperative with the new administration in Washington. After having a number of talks with high level officials in Bolivia, and a few in Washington, my answer is — no one really knows.

Below are two recent Blog posts that are worth a look if you are interested in the complicated relations between Washington and Bolivia. We also want to remind our readers that if you’d like to have highlights from the Blog delivered twice monthly to your in-box, we now offer that (for free) by subscribing here to Democracy Center Updates.

U.S. Bolivia Relations in a Nutshell

For many years Bolivian governments and governments in Washington had a splendid relationship. But it was one based on Bolivian governments being quite happy to do pretty much anything Washington asked.In the War on Drugs, Bolivian governments willingly allowed local drug prosecutors to receive special salary bonuses directly from the U.S. embassy. In reform of the nation’s economy, the U.S. government and the international financial institutions associated with it found happy allies in Bolivia’s governing elite.

That convivial relationship changed in 2006, when President Evo Morales took office.
Read the entire article here.

Three Things that the Governments of the U.S. and Bolivia Should Do.

What are the issues right now between the U.S. and Bolivian governments that have a real impact on people’s lives – from both countries? From that perspective what should be done?1. Save People’s Jobs: The U.S. Should Restore Bolivia’s Participation in Andean Trade Preferences2. Let Children Have Families: The Bolivian Government Should Re-open Adoptions to the U.S.3. Re-build the Bridges of Understanding: Bring the Peace Corps Back
Read the full article here.

The Democracy Center

Founded in San Francisco in 1992, The Democracy Center works globally to advance social justice through a combination of investigation and reporting, training citizens in the art of public advocacy, and organizing international citizen campaigns.

The Democracy Center On-line is an electronic publication of the Democracy Center, distributed on an occasional basis to more than 5,000 organizations, policy makers, journalists and others, throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Please consider forwarding it along to those who might be interested. People can request to be added to the distribution list by sending an e-mail note to: Newspapers and periodicals interested in reprinting or excerpting material in the newsletter s
hould contact The Democracy Center at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Past issues are available on The Democracy Center Web site.

The Democracy Center:

Bolivia: Casilla 5283, Cochabamba, Bolivia / Tel: (591-4) 451-1525
US: PO Box 22157, San Francisco CA 94122 / Tel: (415) 564-4767

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