[Marxism] The Rise of Food Fascism in Bolivia

Fred Fuentes fred.fuentes at gmail.com
Mon Jun 30 01:28:43 MDT 2008


The Rise of Food Fascism: Allied to Global Agribusiness, Agrarian
Elite Foments Coup in Bolivia
Roger Burbach

Like many third world countries Bolivia is experiencing food shortages
and rising food prices attributable to a global food marketing system
driven by multinational agribusiness corporations. With sixty percent
of the Bolivian population living in poverty and thirty-three percent
in extreme poverty, the price of the basic food canasta--including
wheat, rice, corn, soy oil and potatoes, as well as meat—has risen
twenty-five percent over the past year with prices gyrating wildly in
the local markets.

As in most other countries affected by the food crisis, the overall
rise in food prices is attributable to the workings of the free
market—when the price of one or several commodities goes up, the
consumers turn to other food stuffs, thereby driving up these prices
as well. In an effort to halt the effects of this unregulated market,
the government has enacted price controls and even prohibited the
export of beef, most of which is produced on haciendas. But these
measures have been largely ineffective: A black market flourishes as
agrarian commercial interests openly flaunt the central government's
price controls, even directly exporting commodities like beef and
cooking oil at higher prices to the neighboring countries of Chile and
Peru.

This is taking place as Bolivia's first Indian president, Evo Morales,
is facing a sustained challenge by a right wing movement for autonomy
that is integrally linked to the very agribusiness corporations that
are profiting from the upsurge in food prices. Based in the eastern
province of Santa Cruz, a powerful agrarian bourgeoisie is determined
to upend the government's agrarian reform program and to halt Morales'
efforts to more equitably distribute the wealth that flows from
Bolivia's oil and gas fields. Its ultimate goal is to topple Morales
and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) that backs him..... read the
rest at http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2008/06/rise-of-food-fascism-allied-to-global.html




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