Tuesday, September 23, 2008

USA sponsors regime change again ??

Nearly 100 leading academics and foreign policy experts signed the letter last Friday, voicing their "deep concern" over the recent events in Bolivia that left dozens dead and cost millions of dollars in lost revenue to the developing nation.

The letter's signers, who represent dozens of top U.S. schools -- including New York University, the University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University -- as well as Latin America think tanks and journalists, said they were especially concerned about Washington's support for groups and individuals in Bolivia who are using violent means to oppose -- and potentially overthrow -- the popularly elected government of President Evo Morales.

Since the election of Morales in December 2005, the United States has sent millions of dollars in aid to departmental and municipal governments in Bolivia, but some agencies have failed to disclose who they provided money to, and for what purposes.USAID opened an "Office of Transition Initiatives" (OTI) in Bolivia in 2004, which provided some $11 million in funds to "build on its activities designed to enhance the capacity of departmental governments."In its 2006 report, the OTI said it sought to "[build] the capacity of prefect-led departmental governments to help them better respond to the constituencies they govern," and even brought departmental prefects to the United States to meet with state governors.

Some of the same departmental governments later launched organized campaigns to push for "autonomy" and to oppose through violent and undemocratic means the Morales government and its political platform.

The letter urged Washington to "cease any and all support -- financial or otherwise -- to any group or person in Bolivia and other Latin American countries that engages in violent, destructive, terrorist, or anti-democratic activities such as we have witnessed with great shock and sadness in the past weeks in Bolivia."

1 comment:

Diego said...

I'm a bolivian citizen living in the US. I am originally from one of the autonomy-seeking states, and would like to clarify a couple of things.
The states seeking autonomy are doing just that. There is no intent in overthrowing the president (it is obvious that the power vacuum left over would lead to an imminent disaster), or to take all the revenue away from the rest of the country. All they want is to keep a share of the revenue, and be able to use it as they best see fit. There is a fear in the eastern and souther states that Evo would distribute the money to his sympathizers, instead of being fair in its distribution.
The assertion that there was violence used to pressure the government is a little biased. The violence started when pro-government groups sought confrontation with the protestors, and the inability of the police to keep both sides apart helped escalate the issues.
The matter is very complex, and from what I have been reading, only one side of the story is represented in the international press. I'm writing this to give the readers some perspective on the issues.