By Melvyn Kohn
December 8, 2009
Sunday the Bolivian went to the polls and re-elected the incumbent, President Evo Morales. No surprise, as he increased social welfare and got his country the highest growth rate in all of South America, to the praise of the IMF.
But everyone is not singing his praises. As Simon Romero in the New York Times mentioned, Bolivia has the key to the world's clean energy - but he wants the world to pay for it. Like, we can't just go in and help ourselves to lithium? No, mean Evo wants to share the wealth with his Aymara and Quechua speaking voters.
Well, well, well. Jamie Freeze of Renew America, a right wing religious paper, says he is more of a threat than Osama bin Laden. And he does not even stand accused of taking down tall buildings in a single hour. Rather, his country is full of peasants who make less than one pound a day. There are only two ships in the navy. And less people than there are here in New York.
But that does not stop the writers in The Trumpet, a publication put out by the Philadelphia Church of God, from asking Americans to be very concerned about him. After all, it was reported that he was selling uranium to Iran. Slight problem with that story, put out by the Associated Press, is that Bolivia does not mine uranium; nor does it mine lithium. These and other minerals, such as silver and gold, lie fallow. The country is waiting for investment.
Greedy parties are therefore trying to vilify Bolivia so they can just take the minerals. We've heard the story before. It happens frequently. But this time around, it is being stopped - because the innacurate stories put out in the press are looking more and more foolish every day. Bolivia is changing for the better - it has gone from a country where the likes of Klaus Barbie could hang out to a country where everyone is treated equally. But with some of the German/Croatian speaking minority, this does not sit well. So they were involved earlier this year (see my post 20 May on www.hurryupharry.org - Spies, Lies and Journalists) in a plot to kill Evo. Which would have opened the door to certain parties getting their hands on the goods.
So we shall see. Just now, Bolivia is broiges with Israel. But not, as the false rumours suggest, because they sell uranium to Iran or are even anti-Semitic. Their problem is with the nazi sympathisers in the southeast department of Santa Cruz, not with Israelis. They did take issue last year about the war, but they are not a threat to or even remotely against the State of Israel. Time will heal the broiges. Both are small countries and could use each other's support. So let's hope it does.
So Mazel Tov to Evo Morales and his party, which took both houses of the Senate in the elections. I am glad to see the progress taking place. Shalom to Bolivia.