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News :: Human Rights : International : Media : Politics : Race
Bolivia: An acid test
by posted by F Espinoza
02 May 2008
The conspiracy to divide Bolivia must be denounced
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Bolivia: An acid test
Fidel Castro warns of US attempt to disintegrate Bolivia
While our people on May Day, the workers’ day, joyfully celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution, and the seventieth anniversary of the creation of the CTC, the sister nation of Bolivia, fully dedicated to the preservation of health, education, and ensuring the safety of all its citizens, is only a few days, perhaps hours, ahead of going through tragic events.
When we listen to the hair-raising news coming from all over the world about the shortage and prices of foodstuffs, the prices of energy, the climate change and inflation, these being problems which for the first time have emerged all at once as crucial issues, imperialism is bent on disintegrating Bolivia and submitting it to alienating work and hunger.
Four of the wealthiest departments of that country, headed by the oligarchs of Santa Cruz, hope to declare independence and, with the support of the empire, have arranged their own referendum. Meanwhile, the media have paved the way and shaped up voters’ opinion by creating all sorts of illusions and deceptions.
The Armed Forces, faithful to its historic mission, in a country harassed and deprived from an access to the sea and other vital resources, do not favor Bolivia’s disintegration. But the perfidiously conceived Yankee plan is to recruit some anti-patriotic sectors within the military to get rid of Evo in the interest of unity. If transnationals manage to take hold of the basic branches of production, this would be a mere formality. The imperialist motto is to punish Evo and get rid of him.
This is the time for denunciation, for speaking the truth.
"Everyone for himself!" seems to be the cry resounding all over the world, out of lack of foresight and proper meditation about the events leading to a profound international crisis.
This will be an acid test for all Latin American governments and peoples. So it will for all of our doctors and educators who carry out their lofty and peaceful work in that country, no matter what may happen there. Should they face any risky situation, they will not abandon their patients or students.
Fidel Castro Ruz
April 30, 2008
Danielle Mitterrand for Evo Morales
Paris, May 2 (Prensa Latina) President of the NGO France-Libertes Danielle Mitterrand supported in France Bolivian President Evo Morales, and warned against US coup plans.
In a letter published by local media, the former first lady, widow of late French President Francois Mitterrand, demanded the current government to adopt a clear position regarding the South American country"s process.
The letter was addressed to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who called for supporting the Bolivian people "and their legitimate representative against coup plans" to divide the South American country.
There are fascist bands in Santa Cruz that seed fear among native inhabitants and talk of ethnic purification in a country where 63 percent of the population is indigenous," Danielle Mitterrand said indignantly.
With a long life of struggle and work, including her role within the French resistance against the Nazi occupation during the World War II and author of several books, the political veteran called not to give in or be indifferent.
Danielle Mitterrand demanded European diplomacies to score another point and reject Bolivian secessionist trends that are trying to create autonomous governments against the new Constitution.
Bolivia takes control of oil and nationalizes telephone company
LA PAZ, May 1.—In the context of events celebrating May Day, President Evo Morales of Bolivia announced that, as of this Thursday, the state is to recover by decree the majority shares of three oil companies de-nationalized 10 years ago, AFP reports.
The companies are Chaco (British Petroleum), Transredes (Ashmore) and the Bolivian Hydrocarbons Logistic (CLHD), with Peruvian and German capital.
"From this moment the so-called re-founding of Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) has been consolidated," the leader affirmed, addressing a huge crowd in the Plaza de Armas, the location of the Quemado Presidential Palace.
According to PL, Morales also announced the nationalization of the National Telecommunications Company (ENTEL), the largest telephone system in Bolivia.
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia, May 1.—Authorities in the eastern department of Santa Cruz have privatized the ballot count after the autonomy referendum this Sunday, in a further violation pointing to fraud in that vote, stated an official source quoted by PL.
José Luis Exeni, president of the National Electoral Court, stated that the decision is in violation of the country’s code for this kind of process.
Translated by Granma International
Bolivia is one sole Nation
By: Marina Menéndez Quintero
Email: mmenendez (at) jrebelde.cip.cu
If any evidence was lacking to confirm the separatist and balkanizing desire of the referendum called for May 4 in the energy-rich Bolivian department of Santa Cruz, this confirmation has just been revealed. It lies in the Governor Rubén Costas’s own shameless assertion on Friday that “a new republic is being born.”
Not only is the drafting of a new constitution being opposed —which the separatists governments of the “Media Luna” (the Crescent) opposition departments have boycotted since the very beginning— but also resisted have been each step taken by the ruling Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government, which has been as consistent advocate for the downtrodden non-white indigenous majority.
At issue is the integrity of the Bolivian nation, since separation would establish a negative precedent for the rest of Latin America, bringing so clearly into the light a precept that has been the pillar of imperial policy toward the rest of the world: divide and conquer.
The breakup of Bolivia, as Costa himself has recognized, would begin with the predominantly white, hydrocarbon-wealthy eastern department of Santa Cruz. This would be followed by the other lowland departments of Pando, Beni and Tarija, whose administrations are also in the hands of oligarchies, which —along with “civic committees”— constitute the frontline opposition to MAS. The leaders of these other departments have also announced their respective separatist referendums in the upcoming weeks.
This scheme, constitutionally illegal and calculatingly reprehensible, has touched off rejection by mass-based social movements inside and outside of the country, political parties, intellectuals, legal institutions and leaders across the region – who have all expressed their backing of the government of Evo Morales.
The light complexion of Costa might tip off the origin of this opposition, and the character of the strategy his forces wish to impose, despite the existence of the indigenous majorities to whom Costa and company have been losing their privileges.
The call for the referendum was not even supported by people of the Media Luna area, as demonstrated by the fact that the departmental government picked up signatures endorsing the referendum from only a little more than 100,000 thousand people – in a department of more than 2,000,000 citizens.
However, if being fair-haired is not enough to evidence one’s class interests, it should be known that Costa was leader of the East Agricultural Chamber, the Cattlemen’s Confederation, and the Milk Producers – the cream of the crust of that oligarchy so well represented in Santa Cruz, one of the richest departments. That same department is where lies a significant amount of the petroleum and gas reserves of Bolivia, which the faction wants for itself.
On their side can be noted the hand and brain of Branco Marinkovic, an entrepreneur of Croatian origin who leads the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. He is a promoter of racist fervor and is a known secessionist supporting the “Camba Nation” (a band of white separatists groups that profess their superiority over indigenous Andean culture).
The nationalization of hydrocarbons —decreed by President Morales so that the public becomes the owner of that wealth and exploits it for the benefit of the entire country— was the first displeasurable occurrence for Costa and Marinkovic. Later, the oligarchy-controlled governorships and their civic committees were mobilized to make a move on the city of Sucre to impede the work of the Constituent Assembly, which was in charge of crafting the legal overhaul of the constitution. It has still not been able to put this document up for vote by the people, and it continues to be questioned by the administrations of the eastern Media Luna departments.
The establishment of the “Dignity Pension,” as the system of life pensions for senior citizens is called, triggered the attack by the opposition once again, since the program was capitalized with funding with the additional income that the Bolivia government began receiving from the Direct Hydrocarbon Tax, thanks to the renegotiation of contracts with transnational corporations that allowed nationalization.
In this struggle, each of the many efforts by the executive to reach consensus through dialogue and negotiation has been frustrated by that opposition group.
This is the broth that is being stirred to feed hate and which has been served up by the empire. Like in Venezuela, the White House is fomenting subversion in Bolivia through agencies like the US-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and US-AID, while their substantial budgets for workshops in which citizens are educated on topics such as “democracy” prompt just accusations by Evo Morales about the interference of the American embassy in Bolivia’s internal matters.
A recent article in the Bolivian Information Agency points out, with more precision, the activity of US Ambassador Philip Goldberg —who was an assistant of Richard Holbrooke, identified as one of the strategists in the disintegration of Yugoslavia— and whose arrival in Bolivia is related to the break out of the first separatist actions.
To prevent disorder, the government has insisted in that it will not take additional security measures nor will it send police reinforcements to Santa Cruz May 4.
However, some provocation of these same opposition forces cannot be avoided from those backing the referendum. That was the practice in Sucre, where acts of vandalism and physical attacks on MAS assembly members forced the drafters of the constitution to conclude their works in the town of Oruro.
It cannot be ruled out that this practice will be repeated. Destabilization is within the calculations of those who want to smash Bolivia into pieces.
Bolivia Is One Nation
Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, former UNESCO Director Dr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza and writer William Blum join the international call to maintain a united Bolivia.
PEDRO DE LA HOZ
More than 8,000 intellectuals from Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and North America have signed on to the call made April 21 to denounce the autonomy referendum convoked by the Bolivian oligarchy that threatens to break up Bolivia.
Recent signatories to the document circulated by the Defense of Humanity Network are Nobel Prizewinner for Literature Nadine Gordimer and former UNESCO director Federico Mayor Zaragoza of Spain.
The call to maintain a united Bolivia under the government of President Evo Morales is receiving a resounding response in the United States where 279 scholars, artists, writers and social activists signed on. These include former diplomat William Blum, author of the book Killing Hope that documents US foreign interventions since World War II.
The document is available for signing at: http://www.todosconbolivia.org.
The conspiracy to divide Bolivia must be denounced
The process of changes in favor of the Bolivian majority is at risk of being brutally restrained. The rise to power of an Indigenous president with unprecedented support in that country and his programs of popular benefits and recovery of the natural resources have had to face the conspiracies of the oligarchy and United States interference from the very beginning.
In recent days the increase in conspiracy has reached its climax. The subversive and unconstitutional actions of the oligarchic groups to try to divide the Bolivian nation reflect the racist and elitist minds of these sectors and constitute a very dangerous precedent not only for the country’s integrity, but for other countries in our region.
History shows with ample eloquence, the terrible consequences that the divisionary and separatist processes supported and induced by foreign interests have had for humanity.
Faced with this situation the signers below would like to express their support for the government of Evo Morales Ayma, for his policies for change and for the sovereign constituent process of the Bolivian people. At the same time we reject the so-called Santa Cruz Autonomy Statute due to its unconstitutionality and the attempt against the unity of a nation of our America.
Support Bolivia: http://www.todosconbolivia.org/index.php?lang=2
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