[Marxism] The Democracy Center on Evo Morales and the WSJ

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Mon Jan 2 11:11:51 MST 2006


The second part is a note on Bolivia refusing to accept any more  
"aid" in the war on drugs.

The first part is is a reply to a WSJ article of 12/23/05 and  
discusses an important ingredient in Morales's success.

from Brian Shannon

Dear Editor,

The role of economic globalization in Bolivia’s recent presidential  
election is certainly worthy of debate. However, it also worthy of a  
debate based on actual facts, as opposed to the unfortunate  
misrepresentation of the facts included in Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s  
recent WSJ article (“All About Evo”, 12-23-05).

O’Grady is quite correct in suggesting that the citizen revolt  
against water privatization in 2000, in which the Bechtel Corporation  
was kicked out of the country, was the spark that ignited a string of  
events that led to the election of Evo Morales as President earlier  
this month. That makes her twisting of the facts surrounding the  
water revolt all the more serious.

First, the reason that citizens revolted against Bechtel had nothing  
to do with coca farmers, as O’Grady suggests, and everything to do  
with Bechtel raising water rates for the poor an average of nearly  
50% overnight, and in many cases by much more. Second, it was not the  
citizens of Bolivia who rioted but the government. A former dictator,  
Hugo Banzer, responded to peaceful protests by sending 1,200 national  
police to take over the country’s third largest city. An army  
sharpshooter, caught on camera, shot an unarmed 17 year old in the  
face and killed him.

These well-documented facts, and others, may not lend themselves to  
the ideological myth that O’Grady seeks to market, but they are  
facts. They are also a good part of the reason that Bolivians are  
justifiable skeptical of the suggested wonders of the Washington  
Consensus formula of privatization.

Jim Shultz
Executive Director
The Democracy Center
Cochabamba, Bolivia

More information about the Marxism mailing list