Friday, June 10, 2005

Bolivia......Another Underreported Story

The number of news items not reported or underreported in the mainstream media is just too numerous to mention. We have the Coingate scandal in Ohio in which someone has to account for a misguided investment into a coin scheme to the tune of 215 million. We have the Gannon/Guckert affair in which a man who has improper authorization is able to penetrate the presidential press corps to toss softball questions to W. We also have the mother of all underreported stories thusfar, the Downing Street Memo, the smoking gun that proves that George W. Bush as early in 2002 discussed with British PM Tony Blair his intentions to invade Iraq without provocation. This article doesn't deal with any of these crucial events that have somehow eluded the average US citizen. Bolivia, the poorest country of South America won a
crucial battle over a giant multi-national Bechtel, which wanted the people of Cochabamba to pay for water they have used for centuries absolutely free. Facing the wrath a humble yet politically aware populace Bechtel decided it would be in their best interest to back down.
At a time when CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), like it's big brother
NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement) an agreement that benefits the multi-nationals while taking jobs away from US citizens while hurting flegdling businesses in Mexico and other south of the border nations is about to become a reality Bolivia again causes a headache for the neo-colonial capitalist dominators. Bolivia just happens to have the world's second largest quantity of natural gas. The tiny Bolivian elite of Santa Cruz wants this natural resource to be theirs, not the property of a western multi-national, while the masses still remember the attempted theft of their water. The two groups united have run U.S. backed Bolivian President Carlos Mesa out of the country. 85,000 angry people descended upon the capital, overwhelming the police, demanding the immediate exit of someone who they considered to be a puppet of the IMF, World Bank and the US multinationals. With the Bush administration bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan the manpower is just not available to control a developing South American nation. Do multinational giants like Bechtel really help the average American when they engage in obviously unethical behavior in the name of profit? In 1973 a US multinational decided they wanted Chile's copper when then elected President Salvador Allende Gossens wanted to nationalize it. The Nixon Administration aided brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet to massacre tens of thousands of Chileans who supported Allende. This was all done in our name. MBNA among other banks fought very hard to take away the right of the common man to declare bankruptcy, yet if MBNA itself went bankrupt we, the US taxpayers would be forced to bail them out. One of the last things that the late US Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower told us was to beware of the corporate media. It is time to make these oil companies and other US world-wide entities responsible for their unethical conduct. I don't see anything wrong with trying to make an honest dollar, but its something completely different when you are trying to make a profit when it involves unethical behavior like outright murder, intimidation and extortion. The accusations against Coca-Cola in Colombia are frightening. Of course Coca-Cola deserves its day in court. The company among other things has been accused of playing a principal role in the killing of teachers, union leaders and activists who oppose the current administration. The current mainstream media does not mention the crimes of the multinationals, most likely because the companies that are accused of the most heinous crimes happen to be among the newspapers' greatest advertisers. George Bush is attempting to convince the American Public that anyone who sues a landlord or a paint company when a child is diagnosed with lead poisoning is a frivolous lawsuit. We are seeing a marked increase in aggressive behavior by US multinationals, elected officials and the press deliberately look the other way. Bolivia represents a growing awareness among the disenfranchised when 85,000 people collectively say "We're not going to take it anymore" Their plight may not be reported by CNN, Fox or NBC but there is an entire other world of broadcasting out there. Hugo Chavez is about to compete with Cisneros, offering a new South American cable network Telesur. Al Jezeera is also expanding to the west. It is going to become harder to fool people around the world. Bolivia may be just the beginning.

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