Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Another Post on Bolivia - (Please pay attention, for just a moment)

Bolivia is a poor country on a poor continent, and not many Americans claim to be Bolivian-Americans, so nobody really cares what goes on down there. A few of us recall the country as the site of the final gunfight in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", but that taps out the knowledge of 99% of Americans.

The 1% of Americans who stand to make huge money in the petrochemical industry, however, and their Halliburton-Bechtel government friends, however, are quite aware of what is going on in Bolivia. You see, after years of being treated as an unwilling lab rat for the free-market pinheads at the World Bank and the IMF, the people in Bolivia are beginning to push back a little. Their push-back matters, because they are sitting on massive amounts of natural gas, and they're not necessarily willing to let foreign corporations steal it from them.

What's the response of OUR elected government, the REPRESENTATIVES OF YOU AND ME? Rumsfeld is pulling a page from the playbook of the 1960s, and blaming Communists for this burst of economic good sense. He is claiming that Cuba and Venezuela (Venezuela being the subject of a radical cleric's recent fatwa - meaning Bush supporter Pat Robertson, of course), are interfering with Bolivian politics.

Of course, it's not unlikely that Rumsfeld has a grain of truth for a change. But, as the invaluable Blog From Bolivia points out in this article, any influence from Venezuela or Cuba pales in comparison to that of Bechtel, Big Oil, the IMF, the World Bank, and our own War on Drugs. At a time when women attempting to buy bleach in a Bolivian grocery store gets carded because of American interference, it takes astonishing chutzpah for Rumsfeld to point his oil-dipped finger at anyone but himself.


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