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Reply-To: "pedro martori"
From: "pedro martori"
Subject: Bolivia may be latest Castro/Chavez victory
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Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 00:58:06 -0400
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NEWSGROUP : soc.culture.cuba
From: "ricardo a gonzalez"
Subject: Bolivia. Castro/Chavez victory
Date: Friday, October 24, 2003 1:59 PM
Bolivia may be latest Castro/Chavez victory
Paul Crespo \ October 24, 2003
After weeks of often deadly protests led primarily by leftist-organized
indigenous Indians, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada was recently forced to resign
as president of Bolivia. He was replaced by his Vice President Carlos Mesa,
former television journalist with no political experience. No one knows how
long Mesa will be able to remain in office. The country is bordering on
While some see this as simply another populist revolt against an elected
"neo-liberal" reformer in Latin America, some -- more accurately -- see it
as one more defeat for the United States as well as for democracy and free
markets in the region.
It is also a victory for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Venezuela's
dictator-in-waiting, Hugo Chavez.
Land-locked Bolivia is the region's poorest country with 8.8 million, mostly
indigenous Indian, residents. But the Andean nation is symbolically
important for Castro who sent Che Guevara there in the mid-1960's to promote
communist revolution. Though "Che" failed and was captured and killed in
1967, the leftist struggle has continued.
The most recent riots in Bolivia began September 15 after Sanchez de Lozada
announced he supported a $5 billion pipeline to export liquefied natural gas
to the US and Mexico through a port in Chile.
There is still strong popular resentment in Bolivia against Chile dating
back to the 19th century war when Chile seized Bolivia's coastline. But this
is just the tip of the iceberg. Many also see more nefarious motives behind
In his resignation letter, the American-educated Sanchez de Lozada said,
"Democracy is under siege by cooperative groups, political groups and unions
that don't believe in it [democracy]." He added, "With the pretext of gas
exportation.they have looked for my resignation."
Sanchez de Lozada accused leftist opposition leader Evo Morales and Felipe
Quispe, a leader of the country's indigenous Indians, of leading the
attempts to oust him. Both have been organizing protests and provoking
clashes with the Bolivian government for years.
Morales, a socialist leader of the coca farmers known as cocaleros narrowly
lost the 2002 election that brought Sanchez de Lozada to power. Morales has
close links with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Morales has also been leading
a campaign coordinated with Castro against the Free Trade Area of the
Both Morales and Quispe denied leading the uprising and Morales also denied
government accusations that he received financial aid from Libya's Muhamar
Gadafi and Chavez. But Manfred Reyes of the New Republican Force party, and
until recently part of the governing coalition, alluded to Chavez and others
when he claimed "there are anarchic groups with foreign backing that are
using this as a pretext to bring down the country."
The United States should be concerned. Morales is part of a growing network
of leftist anti-American leadrers and groups in Latin America, apparently
aided (and possibly financed) by Castro and Chavez working to undermine
pro-American governments throughout the hemisphere.
This "anti-imperialist" effort also aims to elect leftist leaders when
possible such as Chavez in Venezuela and Inacio Lula de Silva in Brazil. But
when elections fail, these groups will use coups by populist/leftist
military officers or populist protests such as those in Argentina and now
Bolivia, to achieve their ends of removing elected pro-America leaders.
Many see the decrepit Castro (who still has a huge, loyal following in Latin
America developed and cultivated over the past four decades) as the brains
behind this effort, with his alter ego Chavez (using Venezuela's large
territory and vast oil revenues) as the logistical and financial support for
this new subversion campaign. Some of the coordination may also be conducted
through the Sao Paolo Forum, the Castro-inspired anti-American movement
founded in Brazil by Lula da Silva in 1990.
The Forum, which meets regularly thgroughout Latin America, can be seen as a
successor to Castro's Tricontinental Congress formed in the 1960s to foment
radicalism and revolution globally. It serves as the glue that binds
anti-American leftist groups in Latin America with like-minded rogue states
such as Iran and North Korea, and international radical groups and
Bolivia is now ripe for take over by these Castro-Chavez sponsored radical
groups. but it is just the latest of potential targets. The United States
and the democracies of Latin America need to wake up to this growing
subversion threat and work together to actively counter the Castro-Chavez
Paul Crespo is a public policy consultant and writer in Miami and
Washington, DC. A former member of the Miami Herald Editorial Board, he also
writes a regular column for The Herald on politics, military affairs and
diplomacy. Paul is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of
Miami. This column first appeared in Tiempos del Mundo.
©2003 Paul Crespo
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