Saturday, July 11, 2009

Obama- Punish Bolivia for "explicit acceptance and encouragement of coca production at the highest levels of the Bolivian government."

This just as
Obama and Pope Benedict discuss 'the problem of drug trafficking'

U.S.D.A. Criminal Mercantilism for Protecting Cigarette Markets

Obama at odds with Bolivia
July 8, 10:49 PM

Video screen shot

On June 30, 2009 the Obama Administration reinstated George Bush's suspension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act for Bolivia. ATPDEA lifts tariffs for Andean countries for cooperation in fighting drug trafficking. The participating countries are Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, and formerly Bolivia.

PressTV reported:

On Tuesday [June 30th], the Obama Administration reinstated the suspension of the aid claiming there was "explicit acceptance and encouragement of coca production at the highest levels of the Bolivian government."

The Morales government has assumed a 'zero cocaine' but not a 'zero coca' policy as Coca leaves are chewed and brewed as tea by Bolivians for their medicinal properties and as they are beneficial for people living in high altitudes.

Democracy Now reported:

The most recent UN figures show cocaine production in Bolivia rose just 5% in 2007. Colombia, which has received billions in US aid, saw an increase of 27%.

Reuters quoted Evo Morales Bolivia's President, who stated:

"I'm disappointed ... because the Obama administration has used slander, lies and false accusations to suspend the preferential tariffs," said Morales, who threw out the U.S. ambassador to La Paz and American anti-drug agents last year.

Evo Morales had expelled the agents after a spy scandal broke -- Bolivia: Spy-Linked U.S. Embassy Official Won’t Return:

The Bolivian government has announced a US embassy official at the center of a local spy scandal won’t be returning to Bolivia. Assistant Regional Security Officer Vincent Cooper reportedly told a group of Peace Corps volunteers to spy on the Cubans and Venezuelans they came across in Bolivia. His instructions were disclosed after a Fulbright scholar living in Bolivia came forward last week.

Bolivia has had a shaky relationship with the US over the past few years. ABC News reported Evo Morales was Obama's most outspoken critic when it came to lifting the embargo against Cuba:

One of Mr Obama's strongest critics, President Evo Morales of Bolivia, said there had not been any real change in US policy since Mr Obama came to power and Washington was still guilty of conspiracy.

"As far as Cuba is concerned, I would like to be Obama," he said.

"You know why? Because on the embargo, Cuba has the support of the entire world, apart from Israel and the United States.

For more info:

Evo Morales was elected after Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada resigned as a result of Bolivia's water and gas wars.

Full report on US Embassy spy scandal:

Trojan Horse: The National Endowment for Democracy

Bolivia Water War from The Corporation:

Bolivia Gas War from The War on Democracy:

The Bolivian Water Revolt:

In January 2000, just months after it took over control of the water system of Bolivia’s third largest city, Cochabamba, a Bechtel Corporation subsidiary hit water users with enormous price increases. These increases forced some of the poorest families in South America to literally choose between food or water. A popular uprising against the company, repressed violently by government troops, left one 17 year old boy dead and more than a hundred people wounded. In April 2000 Bechtel was finally forced to leave. In November 2001 Bechtel decided to add to the suffering it had already caused by filing a legal demand for $25 million against the Bolivian people – compensation for its lost opportunity to make future profits.

Blog from Bolivia

How the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Undermine Democracy and Erode Human Rights: Five Case Studies

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Author: Poppy Moreno
Poppy Moreno is an Examiner from Salt Lake City. You can see Poppy's articles on Poppy's Home Page.