interference in bolivian elections by usa (why if he is unlikely to win?)
June 30, 2002 7:44 AM   Subscribe

interference in bolivian elections by usa (why if he is unlikely to win?) The US Ambassador to Bolivia has told the Bolivian people not to vote for the indigenous Indian candidate for the Movement for Socialism (MAS), Evo Morales Ayma. If he is elected next Sunday, the USA will suspend economic aid and will review its agreements.

why?.. he is unlikely to win, this will surely give him a boost in the polls instead
posted by trismegisto (10 comments total)
this will surely give him a boost in the polls instead

apparently so. (The BBC provides more background. Unsurprisingly, the War On Some Drugs is involved.)
posted by riviera at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2002

this sort of things makes me dizzy, if Manuel Rocha, warned that Washington could cut off aid if Bolivians chose candidates like Morales, and this actually bolstered Morales' standing in the election - was that the effect Manuel Rocha wanted (ie: Morales to win) or is it the opposite? What business is it of Rocha's anyway? no i'm serious - what gives him the right?
posted by dabitch at 9:16 AM on June 30, 2002

what business is it of his? well... he is the ambassador.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:44 AM on June 30, 2002

You don't have to look very far in Google, or even to the bottom of the, um, Pravda(!) article, to see that Evo Morales Ayma is the candidate of the coca producers. It's obviously debatable whether the US policy of going after cocaine supply is a better choice than going after cocaine demand, but even Pravda admits the guy is a narcotraficante. Why on earth would the US government give money to a (putative) Morales government?

And why would anyone from the anti-imperialist, rights-of-the-indigenous, anti-globalist, pro-sustainable-growth crowd line up to support this thug? Coca is a cash crop. Large-scale cocaine production will damage the environment and interfere with long-term economic prospects in the region.

Even if our own interests weren't on the line, I would hope my government would have an opinion about this demagogue. But, hey, I certainly welcome Pravda's input.
posted by coelecanth at 10:55 AM on June 30, 2002

And it's our money, by gum. Screw off if you want to export coke and pick my damn pocket.
posted by dhartung at 10:56 AM on June 30, 2002

Hrm, well. Its not like we're going to cut off trade, just aid. If they want to grow shitloads of cocane in that country, it's their choice. But we shouldn't subsidize it.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 AM on June 30, 2002

Screw off if you want to export coke and pick my damn pocket.

That's pretty disingenuous. Growing coca isn't quite the same as manufacturing and exporting cocaine, although the Drug Warriors would want you to think so. (delmoi, you can't 'grow shitloads of cocane' [sic] in the same way that you can't grow shitloads of heroin or shitloads of hash.)

Anyway, some background on the position of coca in the Bolivian economy, and some more detail on who and what Morales represents.

(In other news, this year's opium poppy harvest in 'liberated' Afghanistan was most likely back to pre-Taliban clampdown levels, with provincial governors advocating planting in contradiction to Karzai's edicts.)
posted by riviera at 11:52 AM on June 30, 2002

This ambassador's method is an illustration of Bush's foreign policy, "The Shoot Self in Foot Doctrine."

Throughout Bush's term, this doctrine had been utilized in diplomatic relations with China, Korea, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Israel/Palestinians, Argentina, Venezuela, and, now to some extent, Europe. In Iran, for example, a moderate faction, primarily inclusive of followers who enjoy western music/movies, use the Internet, and admire democracy, gained political power over the course of many years, sought to start talks for revitalizing Iran-US relations, and upset radicals in elections. The Shoot Self in Foot Doctrine: Criticize the Iranian government, led by a moderate, and label as an axis of evil. Result: the power of Iranian moderates suddenly erodes and radicals respond, "see, we told you so."
posted by quam at 2:30 PM on June 30, 2002

For some historical perspective the BBC has a timeline of some key events up to 2001.

For more fun facts about Bolivia, check out the 1980 "Cocaine Coup": Where Nazis, the CIA, the Contras, and Argentinian death squads got togther to party.
posted by euphorb at 4:18 PM on June 30, 2002

BBC: "Bolivians have finished voting in the general election, which is likely to move Bolivia away from the free-market economic politics of the past two decades. With pre-election opinion polls showing support relatively evenly divided between the top four candidates, none is expected to win outright."
posted by sheauga at 7:07 PM on June 30, 2002

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