Jul 21

- Bolivia legalizes labor of kids as young as 10 (RT, July 20, 2014):

A law, legally allowing children to work from as early as the age of ten, has been signed in Bolivia this week, making the Latin American country the first nation to legalize child labor. International organizations say it contravenes UN conventions.

The legislation was approved by the Congress earlier this month, with Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera signing it into law on Thursday. The signature – which didn’t come from President Evo Morales due to his absence from the country – officially lowers the age that children can legally work from 14 to 10. Continue reading »

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Jun 25

GOT FOOD?


polar-bear

- “Megablizzard” forecast for eastern Australia (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

“Best snowfalls in a decade.” Maybe the “storm of the century.”

- Aleutian volcanoes waking up (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

Five volcanoes now simultaneously active, the most activity in 26 years.

- Record snowfall in Norway (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

First time since records began that snow has been recorded in June.

- Surprise Snowstorm Clobbers Rockies (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

June 20, 2014 – “A bizarre June snowstorm hit Glacier National Park in Montana and parts of Utah and Idaho this week,

- Confirmed – Earth’s protective magnetic shield is weakening (Ice Age Now, June 22, 2014):

The most dramatic declines are occurring over the Western Hemisphere, says European Space Agency. Continue reading »

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May 08

- Bolivia: Struggling to save the mountain that eats men (Al Jazeera, May 8, 2014):

The Cerro Rico is a UNESCO world heritage monument and a working silver mine — but its peak is caving in

POTOSI, Bolivia — The Andes mountain range surrounds this city in southwestern Bolivia, but there is one that stands apart from the rest — tall, red and almost perfectly conical. This is Potosi’s Cerro Rico, or Rich Hill, a mountain so heavily laced with silver that it has become legend.

Today, after nearly 500 years of constant mining for the silver, tin and zinc that funded the Spanish empire and shaped Bolivia’s economic fortunes, Cerro Rico’s bones are weakened, and its iconic peak is caving in. Now the race is on to reinforce the mountaintop and save this national monument through a government-funded $2.4 million fill-in project. The urgency is doubled because Cerro Rico is not just a testament to Bolivia’s history — it is also a maze of working mines that employ 15,000 miners, generating revenue that supports the entire city.

The sinkhole at the top of Cerro Rico, which is roughly 50 feet across with an uncharted depth, drew national attention in 2011. Named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987, along with the city of Potosi, the mountain’s unmistakable form appears on Bolivia’s currency and the national shield. It represents a history of tremendous wealth but also suffering for the indigenous people and enslaved Africans who died mining it, earning Cerro Rico the title “the Mountain That Eats Men.”

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Sep 20

- Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity (RT, Sep 20, 2013):

Bolivian President Evo Morales will file a lawsuit against the US government for crimes against humanity. He has decried the US for its intimidation tactics and fear-mongering after the Venezuelan presidential jet was blocked from entering US airspace.

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

In solidarity with Venezuela, Bolivia will begin preparing a lawsuit against the US head of state to be taken to the international court. Furthermore, Morales has called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss what has been condemned by Venezuela as “an act of intimidation by North American imperialism.”

The Bolivian president has suggested that the members of CELAC withdraw their ambassadors from the US to send a message to the Obama Administration. As an additional measure he will call on the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas to boycott the next meeting of the UN. Members of the Alliance include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.

“The US cannot be allowed to continue with its policy of intimidation and blockading presidential flights,”
stressed Morales.

Continue reading »

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Jul 16

- US hacked top Bolivian officials’ emails: President Morales (PressTV, July 14, 2013):

Bolivian President Evo Morales says US intelligence has hacked into the email accounts of senior Bolivian officials amid growing concerns about Washington’s secret surveillance programs.

“Those US intelligence agents have accessed the emails of our most senior authorities in Bolivia,” Morales said in a Saturday speech.

“It was recommended to me that I not use email, and I’ve followed suit and shut it down,” the Bolivian president added.

Continue reading »

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Jul 14

- Latin American Countries Recall Ambassadors From Spain, France, Italy And Portugal Over Snowden “Neo-Colonial” Flap (ZeroHedge, July 13, 2013)

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Jul 06

Update:


- Nicaragua Offers Edward Snowden Asylum, Venezuela Promptly Follows (ZeroHedge, July 6, 2013):

Update: First Nicaragua, now Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington.

“I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution,”

Maduro told a televised parade marking Venezuela’s independence day. Snowden is believed to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow international airport.

And so the “lead investor” principle comes to the asylum world. Now everyone wants a piece of the pie. Continue reading »

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Jul 05

- We do not need US Embassy: Morales (PressTV, July 5, 2013):

Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose plane was diverted in Europe this week due to false rumors that US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, says the Latin American country does not need the United States Embassy in La Paz.

On Tuesday, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy refused to allow Morales’ plane, which was flying from Moscow back to Bolivia, to cross their airspace. Morales’ life had been put in danger by the forced emergency landing in Austria, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said after the incident.

Speaking on Thursday in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba where the leaders of Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay gathered to show their solidarity with the Bolivian president, Morales blamed the US for pressuring European states to refuse to allow his plane to fly through their airspace.

He added that his plane was forced to land in the Austrian capital Vienna, and called it a violation of international law.

“We do not need the embassy of the United States,” said Morales, adding that leaders of his party — the Movement for Socialism-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples — had asked him to take action.

“We don’t need them to come here with the excuse of cooperation,” he stated.

“My hand would not shake to close the US Embassy. We have dignity, sovereignty. Without the United States, we are better politically, democratically.”

Continue reading »

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Jul 05


YouTube

- ‘Act of aggression’: Bolivia to file UN complaint over airspace blockade (RT, July 3, 2013):

‘An act of aggression and violation of international law’ is how Bolivia described the situation in which the Presidential plane was grounded in Vienna for almost 12 hours, over fears that Snowden could be on board.

Austrian authorities grounded Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane in Vienna early on Wednesday morning due to suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board. Morales allegedly refuted speculation that Snowden had stowed away on the plane and allowed authorities to conduct a search.“We’re talking about the president on an official trip after an official summit being kidnapped,” Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Sacha Llorenti Soliz, told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday.

“We have no doubt that it was an order from the White House,” ambassador Llorenti said. “By no means should a diplomatic plane with the president be diverted from its route and forced to land in another country.”

Continue reading »

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Jul 03

Before:

- Airplane Of Bolivian President Denied Passage Over French, Portuguese Airspace Due To Snowden Suspicions


- Bolivia’s Air Force One Finally Granted European Overflight: Currently Above Spain (ZeroHedge, July 3, 2013):

It appears that all it took for Spain to finally grant Bolivian president Evo Morales a green light to fly in its airspace was a thorough Austrian check of its cargo hold, a la Millennium Falcon, to make sure it does not hide Barack Obama’s public enemy number 1. Sure enough, the plane has left Vienna and at last check was about to fly over Madrid in a few short minutes.

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Jul 02

- Airplane Of Bolivian President Denied Passage Over French, Portuguese Airspace Due To Snowden Suspicions (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2013):

Moments ago a rather surreal episode of international diplomacy, or rather lack thereof, took place when the airplane of Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria over suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, a claim Bolivian authorities denied. The reason: France and Portugal reportedly refused to allow the flight to cross their airspace due to concerns that Snowden may have been aboard the plane. It is what international law allows countries to deny their airspace to presidents of sovereign countries, when the only transgression is unproven speculation of harboring a whistleblower. Of course, with both insolvent countries bent over and in dire need of some all too precious Uncle Sam liquidity, we can see how they would do anything and everything to gain some favor with Obama.Per RT, David Choquehuanca, the Bolivian Foregin Minister, refuted the idea Snowden was on the plane, saying “we don’t know who invited this lie, but we want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”

Others in South America are also angry, with Ecuador foreign affairs minister Ricardo Patino taking the lead: Continue reading »

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Mar 10

FYI.


- Bolivian President Says “Almost Certain” Chavez was Poisoned (RIA Novosti, March 10, 2013):

CARACAS – Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday he was “almost certain” that “the empire” (the United States) had poisoned his political ally, late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, regional media reported.

President Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died Tuesday at the age of 58 after a two-year-long fight against cancer.

Continue reading »

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Dec 30

- Bolivia nationalises Iberdrola electricity companies (Reuters, Dec 29, 2012):

Bolivia nationalised two electricity distribution companies owned by Spanish utility Iberdrola on Saturday, the latest move by leftist President Evo Morales to assert control over the country’s resources.

Iberdrola will be compensated according to a valuation to be drawn up by an independent arbiter, Morales said, adding that the measure was aimed at enhancing rural energy services.

“We considered this measure necessary to ensure equitable energy tariffs … and to see to it that the quality of electricity service is uniform in rural as well as urban areas,” Morales said.

President Morales has nationalised oil, telecommunications, mining and electrical generation companies.

Continue reading »

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Dec 05

The US government (CIA) hates competition:

- Veterans Today’s Gordon Duff: Obama’s Drone Strikes On Pakistan Not Targeting Terrorists, But Securing $80 Billion US Opium Empire

- Afghanistan: Opium Cultivation Rose Substantially In 2012 (New York Times)

- Afghan Opium Poppy Farming Increases 20%, Fuelled By High Opium Prices (Guardian)

- CIA Created Afghan Heroin Trade (Veterans Today)

- Afghanistan: Is Creating A ‘Narco-State’ Considered ‘Nation-Building?’ (Veterans Today)

- Brought To You By Poppy Bush, Obama Bin Bush And Al-CIAda: Photos Of U.S. And Afghan Troops Patrolling Poppy Fields June 2012 (Public Intelligence)

- Breaking News: Afghanistan – America’s ‘Total Lie War’ (Veterans Today)

- Afghanistan: Heroin Production Rose Between 2001 And 2011 From Just 185 Tons To A Staggering 5,800 Tons/Year (Daily Mail)

- Afghan Opium Production Increases By 61 Percent, Opium Yield Rises 133 Percent From 2010 (AFP)

- War On Drugs Revealed As Total Hoax: US Military Admits To Guarding, Assisting Lucrative Opium Trade In Afghanistan (Natural News)

- Afghan Opium Production ‘Rises By 61%’ Compared With 2010 – Per-Hectare Price Of Opium More Than Doubled (BBC News)



U.S. Special Forces board two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The State Department uses similar aircraft to try to slow down the drug trade. Photo: DoD

- U.S. Ready to Offer Mercenaries $10 Billion for a Drug-War Air Force (Wired, Dec 4 , 2012):

Unsure how your private security firm makes money as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down? One option: Go into the drug trade — more specifically, the lucrative business of fighting narcotics. The State Department needs a business partner to keep its fleet of drug-hunting helicopters and planes flying worldwide. You could make up to $10 billion-with-a-B.

Starting next month in Melbourne, Florida, the State Department will solicit some defense-industry feedback on a contract to help operate its 412 aircraft, based in at least eight nations, before it reopens the contract for bidding. Among the missions the diplomatic corps needs fulfilled: “Provide pilots and operational support for drug interdiction missions such as crop spraying, and the transport of personnel and cargo,” according to a pre-solicitation the department’s bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs released on Friday.

From its headquarters at Florida’s Patrick Air Force Base, the State Department directs 51,000 annual hours worth of air operations. In Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Pakistan, and Guatemala, it mostly performs “counternarcotics and law enforcement activities,” explains State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala, and in Afghanistan it does transportation support as well. Diplomats at the mega-embassy in Iraq also rely on State’s contractor air fleet to move about the country. And in recent years, that fleet has also needed to perform short-term air missions in Sudan, Honduras, Malta, Libya and Egypt. Private-security giant DynCorp currently holds the contract for supporting the diplomatic fleet.

Continue reading »

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Aug 02

- ‘End of capitalism’: Bolivia to expel Coca-Cola in wake of 2012 Mayan ‘apocalypse’ (RT, Aug 1, 2012):

In a symbolic rejection of US capitalism, Bolivia announced it will expel the Coca-Cola Company from the country at the end of the Mayan calendar. This will mark the end of capitalism and usher in a new era of equality, the Bolivian govt says.

“December 21 of 2012 will be the end of egoism and division. December 21 should be the end of Coca-Cola,” Bolivian foreign minister David Choquehuanca decreed, with bombast worthy of a viral marketing campaign.

The coming ‘end’ of the Mayan lunar calendar on December 21 of this year has sparked widespread doomsaying of an impending apocalypse. But Choquehuanca argued differently, claiming it will be the end of days for capitalism, not the planet.

“The planets will align for the first time in 26,000 years and this is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism,”
said Choquehuanca as quoted by Venezuelan newspaper El Periodiquito.

Continue reading »

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Dec 26


YouTube Added: 06.07.2011

- McDonald’s Failure In Bolivia (Global Post, Nov. 1, 2011)

It’s the country that turned its back on McDonald’s.

The fast food giant added the traditional llajwa sauce to its classic patties, but still Bolivians weren’t conviced.

So after five years, McDonald’s closed its eight branches and left the country in 2002.

Now a new documentary, “¿Por qué quebró McDonald’s en Bolivia?”, explores why McDonald’s failed. Filmmaker Fernando Martinez focuses on social and cultural aspects to explain the company’s lack of success. “Culture beat a transnational, globalized world,” he said.

Watch the trailer above.

And for comparison’s sake, here are numbers from the film on McDonald’s reach throughout South America, courtesy of the BBC.

  • Argentina: 192
  • Brazil: 480
  • Chile: 55
  • Colombia: 97
  • Ecuador: 19
  • Paraguay: 7
  • Peru: 20
  • Uruguay: 19
  • Venezuela: 180

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Apr 12

Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation

John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day Link to this video

Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”

Continue reading »

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Aug 31

Antarctic cold snap kills millions of aquatic animals in the Amazon.

bolivia_biggest-ecological-disaster_cold-kills-estimated-6-millions-and-thousands-of-alligators-turtles-and-river-dolphins
The San Julián fish farm in the Santa Cruz department of Bolivia lost 15 tonnes of pacú fish in the extreme cold.Never Tejerina

With high Andean peaks and a humid tropical forest, Bolivia is a country of ecological extremes. But during the Southern Hemisphere’s recent winter, unusually low temperatures in part of the country’s tropical region hit freshwater species hard, killing an estimated 6 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles and river dolphins.

Scientists who have visited the affected rivers say the event is the biggest ecological disaster Bolivia has known, and, as an example of a sudden climatic change wreaking havoc on wildlife, it is unprecedented in recorded history.

“There’s just a huge number of dead fish,” says Michel Jégu, a researcher from the Institute for Developmental Research in Marseilles, France, who is currently working at the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. “In the rivers near Santa Cruz there’s about 1,000 dead fish for every 100 metres of river.”

With such extreme climatic events potentially becoming more common due to climate change, scientists are hurrying to coordinate research into the impact, and how quickly the ecosystem is likely to recover.

The extraordinary quantity of decomposing fish flesh has polluted the waters of the Grande, Pirai and Ichilo rivers to the extent that local authorities have had to provide alternative sources of drinking water for towns along the rivers’ banks. Many fishermen have lost their main source of income, having been banned from removing any more fish from populations that will probably struggle to recover.

The blame lies, at least indirectly, with a mass of Antarctic air that settled over the Southern Cone of South America for most of July. The prolonged cold snap has also been linked to the deaths of at least 550 penguins along the coasts of Brazil and thousands of cattle in Paraguay and Brazil, as well as hundreds of people in the region.

Water temperatures in Bolivian rivers that normally register about 15 ˚C during the day fell to as low as 4 ˚C.

Continue reading »

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Aug 14

I have NOT seen any proof that this could have been caused by Corexit.

Corexit is certainly lethal stuff. Make no mistake about that:

- Scientists: Evidence Of Gulf Oil And Dispersant Mix Making Its Way Into The Foodchain

- The Growing Health Crisis in the Gulf of Mexico:

Corexit also contain arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, cyanide, and other heavy metals. Dispersing oil with it increases toxicity 11-fold ….

- EPA Whistleblower On Gulf Health Risk Cover-Up: ‘People Who Work Near Corexit Are Hemorrhaging Internally.’:

People who work near it are hemorrhaging internally. And that’s what dispersants are supposed to do.EPA now is taking the position that they really don’t know how dangerous it is, even though if you read the label, it tells you how dangerous it is. And, for example, in the Exxon Valdez case, people who worked with dispersants, most of them are dead now. The average death age is around fifty. It’s very dangerous, and it’s an economic-it’s an economic protector of BP, not an environmental protector of the public.


COREXIT KILLS MILLIONS OF FISH AND ALLIGATORS IN BOLIVIA 8-7-2010

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Oct 18

crash-dollar


alba-members-are-venezuela-bolivia-cuba-nicaragua-honduras-dominica-saint-vincent-and-antigua-and-barbuda
ALBA members are Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — Leftist Latin American leaders have agreed on the creation of a regional currency to scale back on the use of the US dollar as well as economic sanctions against Honduran coup leaders.

Nine countries of ALBA, a leftist bloc conceived by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, met Friday in Bolivia where they vowed to press ahead with a new currency for intra-regional trade to replace the US dollar.

“The document is approved,” said Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who is hosting the summit.

The new currency, named the Sucre after Jose Antonio de Sucre, who fought for independence from Spain alongside Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century, will be rolled out beginning in 2010 in a non-paper form.

That move echoes the European Union’s introduction of the euro precursor, the ECU, an account unit designed to tie down stable exchange rates between member states before the national currencies were scraped.

ALBA’s member states are Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda.

In a resolution on Honduras, members of the group agreed “to apply economic and commercial sanctions against the regime that came to power as a result of a coup.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 15


A Bolivian indigenous man participates in the celebrations marking the 228th anniversary of the siege of La Paz March 13, 2009. REUTERS

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Emboldened by a new leftist constitution, Bolivia President Evo Morales on Saturday handed over ownership of farmland seized by the state from wealthy estate holders to poor indigenous people.

Morales handed out around 94,000 acres of lands recently confiscated from five big ranches in Bolivia’s wealthy eastern lowlands, a stronghold of his conservative political opponents. The ranchers have been accused of employing workers in conditions of semi-slavery.

“Private property will always be respected but we want people who are not interested in equality to change their thinking and focus more on country than currency,” said Morales, flanked by military and police personnel.

Among those who lost land was U.S. cattleman Ronald Larsen, who has emerged as a key opponent of the Morales government’s land reforms, which are designed to distribute more of the nation’s riches to poor indigenous peoples.

Continue reading »

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Feb 15

“Global food Catastrophe”

“The world is heading for a drop in agricultural production of 20 to 40 percent, depending on the severity and length of the current global droughts. Food producing nations are imposing food export restrictions. Food prices will soar, and, in poor countries with food deficits, millions will starve.”

This article is a must-read.


After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world

To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.

Now, consider the same graphic with the countries experiencing droughts highlighted.

The countries that make up two thirds of the world’s agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions. Whether you watch a video of the drought in China, Australia, Africa, South America, or the US, the scene will be the same: misery, ruined crop, and dying cattle.

China

The drought in Northern China, the worst in 50 years, is worsening, and summer harvest is now threatened. The area of affected crops has expanded to 161 million mu (was 141 million last week), and 4.37 million people and 2.1 million livestock are facing drinking water shortage. The scarcity of rain in some parts of the north and central provinces is the worst in recorded history.

Continue reading »

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Dec 15

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — Latin American and Caribbean leaders gathering in Brazil tomorrow will mark a historic occasion: a region-wide summit that excludes the United States.

Almost two centuries after President James Monroe declared Latin America a U.S. sphere of influence, the region is breaking away. From socialist-leaning Venezuela to market-friendly Brazil, governments are expanding military, economic and diplomatic ties with potential U.S. adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran.

“Monroe certainly would be rolling over in his grave,” says Julia Sweig, director of the Latin America program at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington and author of the 2006 book “Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century.”

The U.S., she says, “is no longer the exclusive go-to power in the region, especially in South America, where U.S. economic ties are much less important.”

Since November, Russian warships have engaged in joint naval exercises with Venezuela, the first in the Caribbean since the Cold War; Chinese President Hu Jintao signed a free-trade agreement with Peru; and Brazil invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a state visit.

Continue reading »

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Oct 19


CASH CROP: Soybeans are harvested at a farm in Brazil. The record prices for soybeans and other commodities have fallen, spurring anxiety

Once confident that soaring demand would guarantee high prices for goods such as soybeans, beef and minerals, Argentina, Brazil and other countries are feeling the effects of tightening credit.

BUENOS AIRES — The abrupt end of the worldwide commodities boom has stunned Latin American nations that had bet the farm on the idea that raw materials were a ticket to boundless prosperity in the globalized economy.

A galloping sense of insecurity has replaced the swaggering confidence that insatiable demand would keep prices up for products such as soybeans, copper, wheat and coffee. But commodities have tumbled in value in the wake of the financial meltdown.

Continue reading »

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Sep 16
Mr Fernandez supported an autonomy referendum earlier in 2008

Bolivian troops have arrested the governor of a northern province wracked by deadly anti-government violence in recent days, state television reports.

Leopoldo Fernandez, an opponent of President Evo Morales, is accused of backing violence in Pando in which some 16 people died.

Mr Morales declared a state of emergency in Pando last weekend.

The region is among several demanding autonomy and opposing Mr Morales’s plans for constitutional reform.

Government troops who took control of the state capital of Pando, Cobija, moved to detain the governor on Tuesday, according to reports.

Continue reading »

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Sep 15


Supporters of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales burn dolls representing Leopoldo Fernandez, governor of the opposition state of Pando, in La Paz, Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. Several opposition provinces are seeking greater autonomy from Morales’ government and insist on the cancellation of a Jan. 25, 2008 referendum on a new constitution that would help him centralize power, run for a second consecutive term and transfer fallow terrain to landless peasants. At least 30 people have been killed in clashes this week, according to authorities (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – South America’s presidents converged on Chile for an emergency summit Monday aimed at preventing the collapse of Bolivia, whose leftist president has lost control of about half the country and said bloody unrest there amounts to an attempted coup.

Evo Morales said he would explain to his fellow presidents how his political foes in Bolivia’s rich eastern lowlands have mounted a “civic coup,” inciting “crimes against humanity by groups massacring the poorest of my country.”

At least 30 people were killed in political violence last week, prompting Bolivia’s first indigenous president to declare martial law in the rebellious state of Pando – where Morales says thugs used machine guns against his supporters – and seek the arrest of its governor.

Gov. Leopoldo Fernandez denied any responsibility for the deaths, calling it an armed clash between rival groups and accusing Morales of “mounting a farce.”

Morales has lost control over most of eastern Bolivia, where protests have blocked highways and closed border crossings and pipeline sabotage has forced a cutoff of nearly half his nation’s natural gas exports to Brazil.

Continue reading »

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May 29

BRASILIA: South America is thinking of creating a common currency and a central bank along the lines of those in the European Union’s eurozone, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said yesterday.

The idea is a logical next step following the signing last Friday of a treaty creating a Union of South American States that aims to promote joint regional customs and defense policies, Lula said during his weekly radio broadcast.

“Many things still haven’t been realised. We are now going to create a Bank of South America. We are going to move forward so in the future we’ll have a single central bank, a common currency,” he said.

But, he added: “This is a process. It won’t be something that happens quickly.”
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela all signed up to the Unasur treaty creating the regional union during a ceremony in Brasilia last Friday. Continue reading »

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