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Bolivia’s TIPNIS Dispute: Example of How Liberal-Left Alternative Media Becomes a Conveyor Belt for US Regime Change Propaganda

Counterpunch

December 4, 2017

By Stansfield Smith

 

Pro-road CONISUR march

As has become a standard operating procedure, an array of Western environmental NGOs, advocates of indigenous rights and liberal-left alternative media cover up the US role in attempts to overturn the anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal governments of Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Evo Morales in Bolivia.

This NACLA article is a recent excellent example of many. Bolivia’s TIPNIS (Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Secure) dispute arose over the Evo Morales government’s project to complete a road through the park, opposed by some indigenous and environmental groups.

As is NACLA modus operandi, the article says not one word about US and rightwing funding and coordination with the indigenous and environmental groups behind the TIPNIS anti-highway protests. (This does not delegitimize the protests, but it does deliberately mislead people about the issues involved).

In doing so, these kinds of articles cover up US interventionist regime change plans, be that their intention or not.

NACLA is not alone in what is in fact apologetics for US interventionism. Include the Guardian, UpsideDownWorld, Amazon Watch, so-called “Marxist” Jeffery Webber (and here), Jacobin, ROAR,  Intercontinentalcry,  Avaaz, In These Times, in a short list of examples. We can add to this simply by picking up any articles about the protests in Bolivia’s TIPNIS (or oil drilling in Ecuador’s Yasuni during Rafael Correa’s presidency) and see what they say about US funding of protests, if they even mention it.

This is not simply an oversight, it is a cover-up.

What this Liberal Left Media Covers Up

On the issue of the TIPNIS highway, we find on numerous liberal-left alternative media and environmental websites claiming to defend the indigenous concealing that:

The leading indigenous group of the TIPNIS 2011-2012 protests was being funded by USAID. The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB) had no qualms about working with USAID — it boasted on its website that it received training programs from USAID. CIDOB president Adolfo Chavez, thanked the “information and training acquired via different programs financed by external collaborators, in this case USAID”.

 

The 2011 TIPNIS march was coordinated with the US Embassy, specifically Eliseo Abelo. His phone conversations with the march leaders – some even made right before the march set out — were intercepted by the Bolivian counter-espionage agency and made public.

 

“The TIPNIS marchers were openly supported by right wing Santa Cruz agrobusiness interests and their main political representatives, the Santa Cruz governorship and Santa Cruz Civic Committee.” In June 2011 indigenous deputies and right wing parties in the Santa Cruz departmental council formed an alliance against the MAS (Movement for Socialism, Evo Morales’s party). CIDOB then received a $3.5 million grant by the governorship for development projects in its communities.

 

Over a year after the TIPNIS protests, one of the protest leaders announced he was joining a rightwing anti-Evo Morales political party.

 

The protest leaders of the TIPNIS march supported REDD (Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). The Avaaz petition (below) criticizing Evo Morales for his claimed anti-environmental actions also covered this up. As far back as 2009 “CIDOB leaders were participating there in a USAID-promoted workshop to talk up the imperialist-sponsored REDD project they were pursuing together with USAID-funded NGOs.”

REDD was a Western “environmental” program seeking to privatize forests by converting them into “carbon offsets” that allow Western corporations to continue polluting. That REDD would give Western NGOs and these indigenous groups funds for monitoring forests in their areas.

These liberal-left alternative media and environmental NGOs falsely presented the TIPNIS conflict as one between indigenous/environmentalist groups against the Evo Morales government. (e.g. the TIPNIS highway was “a project universally[!] condemned by local indigenous tribes and urban populations alike”) Fred Fuentes pointed out that more than 350 Bolivian organizations, including indigenous organizations and communities, even within TIPNIS, supported the proposed highway.

CONISUR (Consejo de Indígenas del Sur), consisting of a number of indigenous and peasant communities within TIPNIS, backed by Bolivia’s three largest national indigenous campesino organizations, organized a march to support of the road. They argued that the highway is essential to integrating Bolivia’s Amazonia with the rest of the country, as well as providing local communities with access to basic services and markets.

The overwhelming majority of people in the West who know about the TIPNIS protests, or the Yasuni protests in Ecuador, where a similar division between indigenous groups took place, never learned either from the liberal-left media or the corporate media, that indigenous groups marched in support of the highway or in support of oil drilling.

Therefore, this liberal-left media is not actually defending “the indigenous.” They are choosing sides within indigenous ranks, choosing the side that is funded and influenced by the US government.

The TIPNIS conflict is falsely presented as Evo Morales wanting to build a highway through the TIPNIS wilderness (“cutting it in half” as they dramatically claim). There are in fact two roads that exist there now, which will be paved and connected to each other. Nor was it wilderness: 20,000 settlers lived there by 2010.[1]

 

Anti- highway march leaders actually defended industrial-scale logging within TIPNIS. Two logging companies operated 70,000 hectares within the national park and have signed 20-year contracts with local communities.

 

They often fail to note that the TIPNIS marchers, when they reached La Paz, sought to instigate violence, demanding Evo Morales removal. Their plot was blocked by mobilization of local indigenous supporters of Evo’s government.

If we do not read Fred Fuentes in Green Left Weekly, we don’t find most of this information. Now, it is true that some of the media articles did mention that there were also TIPNIS protests and marches demanding the highway be built. Some do mention USAID, but phrase it as “Evo Morales claimed that those protesting his highway received USAID funding.”

Avaaz Petition Attacking Evo Morales over TIPNIS

The TIPNIS campaign, which became a tool in the US regime change strategy, was taken up in a petition by Avaaz. It included 61 signing groups. Only two from Bolivia! US signers included Amazon Watch, Biofuelwatch, Democracy Center, Food and Water Watch, Global Exchange, NACLA, Rainforest Action Network.  Whether they knew it, whether they wanted to know it, they signed on to a false account of the TIPNIS conflict, placed the blame on the Bolivian government, target of US regime change, and hid the role of the US.

US collaborators in Bolivia and Ecuador are painted as defenders of free expression, defenders of nature, defenders of the indigenous. The US government’s “talking points” against the progressive ALBA bloc countries have worked their way into liberal-left alternative media, which echo the attacks on these governments by organizations there receiving US funds.  That does not mean Amazon Watch, Upside Down World or NACLA are themselves funded by the US government – if it somehow exculpates them that they do this work for free. Even worse, much of this propaganda against Evo and Correa appears only in the liberal-left alternative press, what we consider our press.

The USAID budget for Latin America is said to be $750 million, but estimates show that the funding may total twice that. Maria Augusta Calle of Ecuador’s National Assembly, said in 2015 the US Congress allocated $2 billion to destabilize targeted Latin American countries.

This information, how much money it is, what organizations in the different countries receive it, how it is spent, ought to be a central focus of any liberal-left alternative media purporting to stand up for the oppressed peoples of the Americas.

Yet, as Fuentes points out:  “Overwhelmingly, solidarity activists uncritically supported the anti-highway march. Many argued that only social movements — not governments — can guarantee the success of [Bolivia’s] process of change…. with most articles written by solidarity activists, they] downplay the role of United States imperialism…. Others went further, denying any connection between the protesters and US imperialism.”

Why do they let themselves become conveyer belts for US regime change propaganda?

Why did this liberal-left media and NGOs let themselves become conveyer belts for US propaganda for regime change, legitimizing this US campaign to smear the Evo Morales government?

Some of it lies in the liberalish refusal to admit that all international issues can only be understood in the context of the role and the actions of the US Empire. As if conflicts related to countries the US deems hostile to its interests can be understood without taking the US role into account. Some liberal-left writers and groups do understand this, just as they do understand they may risk their positions and funding by looking to closely into it.

It seems easier to not see the role the Empire plays and simply present a liberal-left “critique” of the pluses and minuses of some progressive government targeted by the US. That is how these alternative media sources end up actually advocating for indigenous groups and environmental NGOs which are US and corporate funded. They even criticize countries for defending national sovereignty by shutting down these non-governmental organizations, what Bolivian Vice-President Linera exposes as “foreign government financed organizations” operating in their countries.

Some of it lies in the widely held anti-authoritarian feeling in the US that social movements “from below” are inherently good and that the government/the state is inherently bad. The reporting can be informative on social movements in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia where the people struggle against state repression. But when these social movements in Ecuador or Bolivia were able to win elections and gain hold of some real state power, reporting soon becomes hostile and misleading. “Support social movements when they struggle against governmental power; oppose them once they win government power,” they seem to say. Their reporting slides into disinformation, undermining our solidarity with other struggles, and covering up US regime change efforts. UpsideDownWorld is an excellent example of this.

Some of it lies in what many who call themselves “left” still have not come to terms with: their own arrogant white attitude they share with Western colonizers and present day ruling elites: we know better than you what is good for you, we are the best interpreters and defenders of your socialism, your democracy, your human rights. They repeatedly critique real or imagined failures of progressive Third World governments – targets of the US.

Genuine solidarity with the peoples of the Third World means basing yourself in opposition to the Empire’s interference and exposing how it attempts to undermine movements seeking to break free from the Western domination.

Some of it lies in deep-rooted white racist paternalism in their romanticizing the indigenous as some “noble savage” living at one with nature in some Garden of Eden. Providing these people with schools, health clinics, modern conveniences we have, is somehow felt not to be in their best interests.

A serious analysis of a Third World country must begin with the role the West has played.  To not point out imperialism’s historic and continuing exploitive role is simply dishonest, it is apologetics, it shows a basic lack of human feeling for the peoples of the Third World.

A function of corporate media is to conceal Western pillaging of Third World countries, to cheerlead efforts to restore neocolonial-neoliberal governments to power. However, for liberal-left media and organizations to do likewise, even if halfway, is nothing other than supporting imperialist interference.

Notes.

[1] Linda C.  Farthing, Benjamin H. Kohl Evo’s Bolivia: Continuity and Change (2014: 52)

 

[Stansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA Solidarity Committee, recently returned from a SOA Watch, Task Force on the Americas delegation to Venezuela.]

Soft Coups in Latin America: How Left-Liberal Alternative Media & Environmental NGOs Help the US in Bolivia & Ecuador

Chicago ALBA Solidarity

October 9, 2015

by Stansfield Smith

 

ALBA Chicago

The US now engineers “regime change” not so much by using the military, in part because of their military quagmires in the Middle East, in part because Obama has sought to give a new face and new credibility to the Empire after the damage it suffered during Bush years. The US relies on soft coups: media campaigns and mass demonstrations against “corruption,” for “human rights,” “democracy,” “freedom,” aimed at the target government. The US makes skillful use of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to carry out its plans, which often appeal to cherished liberal-left values and sentiments.  The leadership of these soft coups and color revolutions are made to seem just like us, with our liberal Western values. Overlooked or concealed are the actual political and economic plans the leaders of these movements will implement – first defeat the dictatorship and then all else will later fall into place.  As a result, many people opposed to US military interventionism are taken in, many often willingly.

Progressive Latin American governments are one target for soft coups engineered by the US.  The US seeks to overthrow democratically elected presidents through media campaigns of lies and half-truths, inciting social discontent, delegitimizing the government, provoking violence in the streets, economic disruptions and strikes.

For those opposed to all US intervention, particularly those of us living in the US, we are called upon to expose these new methods of soft coup interference. The standard practice involves the role of USAID, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI) in helping to finance NGOs to do their dirty work.  NGOs have become the humanitarian face of imperialist intervention.

Behind the rhetoric of “democracy promotion,” Washington aims to impose neoliberal regimes that open their markets to the US without conditions and align themselves with US foreign policy. While these goals are known by the leaders of the US backed “color revolutions,” they are not shared with, let alone accepted by their followers. When these takeovers do succeed, citizens soon rebel against the new policies imposed on them, but it is too late to turn back.

The US government has long sought to overthrow socialist Cuba and the anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist ALBA governments of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, and re-establish neocolonial governments. In the cases of President Correa of Ecuador and Evo Morales of Bolivia, this goes back to before their first runs for presidency.  Green Left Weekly ran a series of articles on continuous US efforts to get rid of Correa, even before he came into office.[1] No serious article on the conflicts in Correa’s Ecuador can omit the ten year US effort inside Ecuador to get rid of Correa.

Any serious analysis of what is happening in a Third World country, whether a progressive one or not, must start with the role Western imperialism has played. Otherwise, the analysis does not clarify the causes of the problems, but just indirectly gives cover to US imperialism.

The work of Eva Golinger (until recently*) and Federico Fuentes of Green Left Weekly, are models of progressive intellectuals, defending the peoples and countries of Latin America. They have exposed the role of USAID and NED in corrupting particular indigenous groups in Bolivia and Ecuador: during Bolivia’s TIPNIS protests, with Pachakutik, Conaie and the Yasunidos in Ecuador. They have exposed the role of the US financed environmental NGOs in these countries, such as Fundacion Pachamama, Accion Ecologica, Amazon Watch. [* She now seems to have more in common with the liberal-left alternative media criticized  below. https://chicagoalbasolidarity.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/correcting-eva-golinger-on-venezuela/]

This does not mean some indigenous and environmental groups have legitimate concerns. The problem occurs when the US funds leaders of groups to manipulate their members in order to exacerbate the problem. In the 1980s, the US used the Miskito Indian groups in Nicaragua to foment armed conflict with the Sandinistas. This does not mean the Miskitos did not have legitimate grievances, they had, but these were manipulated by the US to further its goal of overthrowing the Sandinistas. Likewise, indigenous peoples in Ecuador and Bolivia have legitimate concerns about development projects in the TIPNIS or Yasuni, for instance, but are deliberately used by US agencies to foment rebellion against their governments.

Using indigenous and environmental groups to attack their governments is a key part of the US government’s anti-Correa and anti-Evo Morales campaign. Unfortunately, consciously or not, this campaign is furthered in various alternative media centers, and can be seen in UpsideDownWorld, NACLA, In These Times, ROAR, CommonDreams, Jacobin, WagingNonViolence, Alternet, MintPressNews, even Naomi Klein, and recently Real News Network.

Too often, when liberal-left alternative media [2] address Latin America, we find articles legitimizing the views of these same US influenced environmental NGOs and related indigenous groups. This media has to some extent become a transmission belt for US propaganda, as knowing or unknowing participants in soft coup operations against these countries.

We find these alternative media outlets voicing and even being mouthpieces for US connected indigenous organizations and environmental NGOs, defending their protests against Evo Morales and Rafael Correa. For instance, Upside Down World has criticized Evo over TIPNIS, discounted the 2010 coup against Correa as not being a coup (the same line as the US government), defended the rightwing protests against Correa, and objected to the closing of US backed NGOs.

Covering up US Interference in Bolivia

In NACLA Emily Achtenberg wrote over ten articles on the Bolivian TIPNIS highway conflict and barely mentioned the close coordination of the protest leaders with the US Embassy. This is not simply an oversight, it is a cover-up.

“It’s not the first time that Morales has accused protest movements—including the TIPNIS marchers—of links to outside forces (such as the U.S. Embassy and right-wing opposition groups) who are seeking to destabilize his government. Protest leaders view these allegations largely as a tactic to undermine their credibility and mobilize support for the government.”[3]

Achtenberg avoids presenting the evidence of US government interference, and instead points the finger at Evo Morales.

She goes further in another article:

“A few telephone calls [between the US Embassy in Bolivia and the protest leaders] hardly prove a conspiracy, and many familiar with WikiLeaks cables accept that Embassy personnel routinely maintain contact with diverse social sectors. Serious concerns have been raised about the government’s potential violation of privacy laws in obtaining telephone records without a court order” [4]

Exposing the US role in the march takes a back seat to repeating US concerns over the Bolivian government’s alleged violations of privacy laws.

Ben Dangl follows Achtenberg in similar apologetics for the US role in the TIPNIS protests in his article in Upside Down World, “The Politics of Pachamama: Natural Resource Extraction vs. Indigenous Rights and the Environment in Latin America.” [5]

Contrast this with an article by Nil Nikandrov defending Bolivian sovereignty:

“According to journalist and author Eva Golinger, USAID poured at least $85 million into destabilizing the regime in the country. Initially, the US hoped to achieve the desired result by entraining the separatists from the predominantly white Santa Cruz district. When the plan collapsed, USAID switched to courting the Indian communities with which the ecology-oriented NGOs started to get in touch a few years before. Disorienting accounts were fed to the Indians that the construction of an expressway across their region would leave the communities landless, and the Indian protest marches to the capital that followed ate away at the public standing of Morales. It transpired shortly that many of the marches including those staged by the TIPNIS group, had been coordinated by the US embassy. The job was done by embassy official Eliseo Abelo, a USAID curator for the Bolivian indigenous population. His phone conversations with the march leaders were intercepted by the Bolivian counter-espionage agency and made public, so that he had to escape from the country while the US diplomatic envoy to Bolivia complained about the phone tapping.” [6]

Federico Fuentes noted USAID funding behind the TIPNIS protests:

“The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB), the main organisation behind the march, has no such qualms [about its connection to the US]. It boasted on its website that it received training programs from the US government aid agency USAID. On the site, CIDOB president Adolfo Chavez, thanks the “information and training acquired via different programs financed by external collaborators, in this case USAID”.

He brought to light what Achtenberg and Dangl seek to conceal:

“neither of the Internet statements [an anti-Evo Morales Avaaz petition and September 21, 2011 letter to Morales signed by over 60 environmental groups]  mentions the protesters’ support for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program. REDD is a grossly anti-environmental United Nations program that aims to privatise forests by converting them into “carbon offsets” that allow rich, developed countries to continue polluting.

 

Some of the biggest proponents of this measure can be found among the NGOs promoting the march. Many of these have received direct funding from the US government, whose ambassador in Bolivia was expelled in September 2008 for supporting a right-wing coup attempt against the elected Morales government.

 

Rather than defend Bolivia’s sovereignty against US interference, the letter denounces the Bolivian government for exposing connections between the protesters and “obscure interests”.

 

These “obscure interests” include the League for the Defense of the Environment (LIDEMA), which was set up with US government funds….

 

Secret US diplomatic cables recently released by WikiLeaks and declassified US government files have conclusively shown that USAID directly targets indigenous communities in a bid to win them away from support for Morales and towards supporting US interests.” [7]

Western financed NGOs, such as Avaaz, Amazon Watch and Democracy Center, serve to provide a “left” cover to the global 1% campaign for “regime change” in Bolivia and Ecuador. They seek to demonize Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, thereby undermining the opposition of progressive people’s in the West to their engineering a “soft coup” in these countries.[8]

In 2011 Amazon Watch carried out an even more vociferous and dishonest propaganda campaign against Evo Morales’ Bolivia, claiming to defend the TIPNIS and indigenous rights in Bolivia. Again, no mention is made of the US role in the protests, nor that Evo’s government had a number of the police responsible for the unauthorized violence of the protest marchers fired, nor that Evo agreed to the protestors’ demands.[9]

Funders of Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) include: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (which works with NED), Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, The Overbrook Foundation, Moriah Fund (directors connected with USAID and Bill Clinton’s administration), Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation.[10]

In 2013, Pedro Nuni, one of the central leaders of these TIPNIS protests, defended by much Western alternative media, announced he was joining a rightwing party.[11] This, this alternative media conveniently forgot to mention.

Passing knowledge of Latin American history informs us it is ludicrous to think the US does not play a role in coups and protest movements against progressive governments. We ask how any writers and websites considering themselves honest, would not bring these US connections to light.

US coups and attempted coups pose are as constant in Latin America today as they were decades ago:  Chavez in Venezuela (2002, 2003), Aristide in Haiti (2004), Evo Morales in Bolivia (2008),  Zelaya in Honduras (2009), Correa in Ecuador (2010), Lugo in Paraguay (2012), Maduro in Venezuela (2013, 2014), and a wave of coup attempts this past summer (2015) in Ecuador, Bolivia,  Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and Christina Fernandez in Argentina, Sanchez Ceren in El Salvador. US coup-plotting remains a continuous constant threat to the sovereignty of the Latin American peoples.

Ecuador: Covering Up the US Role in the 2010 Coup and US Infiltration of Indigenous and Environmental Groups

As in Evo’s Bolivia, a central ingredient of the US anti-Correa campaign involved using indigenous groups and environmental NGOs to attack the Correa government, a campaign reflected in media outlets such as Upside Down World, NACLA and NGOs like Amazon Watch.

In Ecuador, we can see these apologetics for the US Empire in reports on the September 30, 2010 coup attempt against Rafael Correa. At the time, Upside Down World approvingly published CONAIE’s (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador) statement on the attempted police coup against Correa, which made no mention of US involvement, and blamed President Correa for the political conflict that led to the coup.[12]

Marc Becker, a regular contributor on Ecuador for Upside Down World, posted a statement by, Pachakutik (the political wing of CONAIE) delegate Lourdes Tiban of Ecuarunari, which he called “maybe Ecuador’s most radical indigenous movement.” Tiban’s Ecuarunari statement, issued during the attempted coup, actually called for overthrowing President Correa: “the only revolutionary alternative is to fight against supporters of the [Correa] dictatorship.”

In contrast, Evo Golinger and Jean Guy Allard made clear the US role in the attempted coup against Correa. Allard pointed out the US infiltration of the police, who led the coup, as well as the armed forces.[13]

Golinger exposed the USAID and NED connections with indigenous groups such as CONAIE and in particular Pachakutik, which backed the coup:

“During the events of September 30 in Ecuador, one of the groups receiving USAID and NED financing, Pachakutik, sent out a press release backing the coup-plotting police and demanding the resignation of President Correa, holding him responsible for what was taking place.  The group even went so far as to accuse him of a “dictatorial attitude.”  Pachakutik entered into a political alliance with Lucio Gutiérrez in 2002 and its links with the former president are well known:” [14] [15]

Golinger also publicized the School of Americas graduate involved in the coup, the role of the high level CIA agent Norman Bailey, and that of indigenous leader Lourdes Tiban’s ties with Norman Bailey, USAID/NED and the Ecuadoran business class.[16]

Golinger showed that many Ecuadoran organizations, some linked to the indigenous movement and directed by National Assembly member Lourdes Tiban, received funding from USAID and NED to destabilize the government of President Rafael Correa. Tiban, of the Pachakutik Party, is part of the Indigenous Enterprise Corporation, an organization that “actively” receives funding from USAID.

Yet even today Upside Down World remains a strong defender of these two USAID connected indigenous groups in Ecuador, even after their participation in the violent right-wing protests against Correa in summer 2015.

Ecuador ‘s Closing Down of Fundacion Pachamama NGO

In 2014 NACLA and Upside Down World supported the campaign in defense of Fundacion Pachamama, a US funded NGO in Ecuador. This NGO, involved in opposing oil drilling in the Yasuni National Park, had been shut down by the Ecuador government.

In the Yasuni, the Correa government proposed opening a mere 200 hectares (the actual size to be affected contested by some) to oil drilling, within the million-hectare park. In comparison, Canada’s tar sands mining/strip-mining will destroy 300,000 hectares of the Canadian Boreal Forest, 1500 times the size of the land to be affected in the Yasuni. Canada is now the world’s leading country in deforestation.

President Correa offered to refrain from exploiting the oil reserves within the Yasuni in exchange for 50% of the value of the reserves, or $3.6 billion. During the six-year history of the initiative, only $336 million had been pledged, and of that only $13.3 million had actually been delivered.

Cory Morningstar notes, “The fact of the matter is, if NGOs had campaigned for Yasuni …rather than working behind the scenes with corporate interests and leading greenhouse gas emitting  states … perhaps our situation today would be far different. But of course, this is not why the non-profit industrial complex exists.”[17]

USAID shut down its offices in Ecuador in 2014, a year after it was expelled from Bolivia. Even mainstream newspapers gave a more or less factual account:

“Correa in June [2013] was granted wide-ranging powers to intervene in the operations of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which often receive funding from USAID. The decree also created a screening process for international groups wanting to work in the country.

 

In early December [2013] the government shut down environmental NGO Fundación Pachamama after it was alleged that the group disrupted public peace while protesting oil drilling in the Amazon region. Pachamama was receiving funding from USAID.”[18]

Nevertheless, despite what is a question of Ecuador asserting its national sovereignty against foreign interference, an international campaign against Correa was organized in response.[19] Of this Cory Morningstar wrote “It is essential to note that none of the NGOs (over 100 at this point) participating in the Pachamama “solidarity” campaign disclose the fact that the Pachamama Foundation is financed by US interests.”

Signers of the international petition addressed to Correa by defenders of this USAID funded Foundation included Ecuador’s Accion Ecologica and CEDENMA. In the US it included 350.org, Amazon Watch, Citizens Climate Lobby, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Friends of the Earth US, Global Exchange, Move to Amend Coalition, Oakland Institute, Pachamama Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace International, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Environmental Network, New Energy Economy, Womenrise for Global Peace.

We find environmental NGOs operating in the US in a similar manner. For instance, the Huffington Post reported in 2014 that the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, Environmental Defense Action Fund, and the League of Conservation Voters actually donated tens of thousands of dollars to pro-Keystone XL pipeline politicians. It also became known that Sierra Club secretly took $25 million from the fracking industry.[20]

Who Funded Fundacion Pachamana?

Morningstar explains: “Fundación Pachamama was set up in 1997 as the Pachamama Alliance (founded in 1995) “sister organization,” situated in Ecuador. The Pachamama Alliance is a heavily funded U.S. NGO. Past donors include the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Revenue has increased from U.S. $1,911,036.00 in 2006 to U.S. $3,461,600.00 in 2011 (2011 form 990) with over $1 million focused exclusively on both Ecuador and Bolivia (grantmaking $706,626.00 / program services $391,622.00) in 2011.”

Pachamama was not just a US financed NGO, but served as a business:

“The Pachamama Alliance was created as a partnership with the Achuar to help organize and support a new multi-million dollar tourism development for which Indigenous Peoples needed to be trained in western commerce, the service industry, the English language and marketing. In essence, the Achuar were to be carefully integrated with the modern world.

 

The exclusive tourism development was to be located in pristine Indigenous territory in Ecuador. The Pachamama Foundation is also a partner of USAID-WCS (U.S. Agency for International Development – Wildlife Conservation Society) whose interests lie in “the growing markets and opportunities derived from environmental services including the REDD initiative (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries)…” (2009).”[21]

 

“Robin Fink is the Program Director at Fundación Pachamama (since November 2009) and Board Member at the Runa Foundation (Fundación Runa) (May 2012 to present). [22] In her role at Pachamama Alliance, Fink works closely with the Indigenous Achuar of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The associated Runa Corporation president [Tyler Gage] said “… we also receive about $500,000 from USAID, from the US government, the Andean Development bank, the German government, a couple other NGOs who were very impressed by our model.”  [23]

Wain Collen, Education Director of Fundación Pachamama, explained the function of these Western NGOs: ‘NGOs who aim to help indigenous communities most often end up causing more problems than they solve, ‘Our advisors and industry experts continue to remind us that above all, we need to run a successful business, regardless of how social it is. Without a strong, successful business we can’t generate any benefits for anyone.”[24]

“The Pachamama Alliance was created as a partnership with the Achuar to help organize and support a new multi-million dollar tourism development for which Indigenous Peoples needed to be trained in western commerce, the service industry, the English language and marketing. In essence, the Achuar were to be carefully integrated with the modern world.”[25]

This US funding of Fundacion Pachamana was concealed in the campaign protesting Correa’s shutting it down. NACLA and Upside Down World were participants, and one writer, Marc Becker, referred to the Fundacion as a “fair trade group.” NACLA still refers to Fundacion Pachamama as an “environmental and human rights organization.”[26] This was a deliberate misrepresentation to their US audience, and serves the interests of those seeking to smear Correa and turn sentiment against the Citizens Revolution.

The USAID-environmental NGO connection in Ecuador was known years before the failed 2010 coup against Correa. An institutional, academic research study, entitled Globalization, Philanthropy and Civil Society: Protecting Institutional Logics Abroad  had pointed out USAID and US corporate NGO funding of these Ecuadoran NGOs – before any actions had been taken against them by the Ecuadoran government:

“Nature Conservancy’s Amazon Program, both based in Brazil; or CDES (the Centro para Desarrollo Economico y Social) and Fundacion Pachamama, both Ecuadorian-based partner organizations of U.S. NGOs…. They collaborate on a regular basis with U.S. organizations, however, and remain dependent on funding from Northern sources- from the World Bank or Global Environment Facility, from US foundations, from USAID, or from their American mother/partner NGO. US NGOs have also influenced the development of new organizations in the Amazon region by influencing the agenda of USAID and large foundations such as the Ford and Moore foundations, which have become some of the most important sources of financing for new NGOs and grassroots organizations in the Amazon.”[27]

Given the propaganda campaign directed at Presidents Rafael Correa and Evo Morales by US funded environmental NGOs and some indigenous groupings, it is necessary to note, as Alvaro Linera did in his article on TIPNIS that these NGOs operating in these countries are not non-governmental organizations, but foreign government organizations, and that any government defending its national sovereignty needs to control them, or face the consequences of further coup-plotting.

 Accion Ecologica

Correa also shut down – temporarily– the US funded anti-Correa “environmental” NGO, Accion Ecologica. Even journalist Naomi Klein joined this other anti-Correa campaign, calling the government’s decision to shut it down as “something all too familiar: a state seemingly using its power to weaken dissent.”[28]

Painting the  Summer 2015 Rightwing anti-Correa protests as Progressive, and the case of Manuela Picq

The Accion Ecologica website, like Amazon Watch and NACLA, presented a deliberately distorted account of the violent right-wing protests in Ecuador in the summer of 2015, falsely blaming violence on the government.[29]

NACLA and Upside Down World ran articles by Manuela Picq, the anti-Correa foreign journalist kicked out of the country. NACLA’s front page had links to a Change.org petition about Manuela Lavinas Picq[30], the professor alleged to be beaten up and arrested by Ecuadoran police during the August 13 Quito protests.

The petition said:

“We the undersigned demand that Manuela Lavinas Picq’s order for deportation from Ecuador be rescinded immediately. Manuela Lavinas Picq was beaten and arrested in Quito on Thursday, August 13.  Manuela was participating in a legal, peaceful protest as a journalist.  At the time of her arrest, she was in the company of other journalists and photographers and was unarmed.”[31]

Signers included Amazon Watch.

Manuela Picq was a foreign journalist, married to a leader of the protests, Carlos Pérez, president of Ecuarunari, organization of Lourdes Tiban, and was herself a participant in the protests. These were not peaceful protests, but violently attacked the police in attempts to break through police lines to take over the presidential palace. Picq herself actually denied she was mistreated by the police.[32]

The August protests were deliberately misrepresented in Upside Down World and similar left-liberal websites as being progressive protests by indigenous groups.[33] In fact, they were violent protests in alliance with the Ecuadoran right-wing, part of fight against the proposed increase in inheritance tax on the rich. Concealed was the fact that CONAIE leaders supported the June 2015 right wing protests against Correa’s proposed inheritance tax on the rich.

In an interview published on June 17, 2015 in the context of a right wing uprising against the inheritance taxes, CONAIE’s president falsely claimed “this inheritance law affects the majority of the Ecuadoran population, it is not true that it is directed only at two percent of the population.” [34] CONAIE also opposed the law nationalizing water, seeking to leave in place the 1990s law privatizing water.[35]

Amazon Watch’s falsifications of the August 2015 protests surpassed what could be expected on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page with an article subtitled “While police massacre indigenous protesters and citizens, the Government of Rafael Correa dances in the Presidential plaza”:

“The discourse it promoted for eight years at national and international levels, which favored its image as a socialist government and defender of rights for indigenous peoples and Mother Nature, has proven to be a sham.”

 

”All of the rights won by the indigenous nationalities have been repealed, just as the system of bilingual intercultural education, indigenous health services, economic funds, and political organization.”

 

”During the March for Peoples Dignity on August 13, 2015, the Government prepared an impressive display of security forces, police, and military. Violent confrontations with citizens ensued and resulted in numerous people disappeared, imprisoned, tortured, and dead across the country.”[36]

This outright fabrication is belied by the actual reporter film of the events.[37]

 The Issue of  Extractivism in Ecuador and Bolivia

Correa’s Ecuador and Evo’s Bolivia are both widely criticized by Western environmental and indigenous supporting groups for practicing “extractivism,” the reliance on exporting natural resources (oil, gas, mining) as a tool for development. We may search far and wide for a similar stream of criticisms of “extractivism” taking place in pro-imperialist governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico, the Congo, or even Alberta. In these latter countries, the wealth from the natural resources ends up as corporate profits or in Western banks. In contrast, Ecuador and Bolivia have nationalized their national resources, and reversed the percent of the profits that go to the state vs foreign corporations, from 10-15% before to 85-90% now, and use this wealth to fund programs benefitting the 99%.  Is this the real reason they have become targets for the evils of “extractivism”?

The very term “extractivism” conceals the real crime: imperialist countries’ raping of the resources of the  Third World and the destruction it inflicts on the environment and people living there. The 500 year Western pillaging of oppressed nations’ natural resources using semi-slave labor conditions lies obscured. The real issue, deliberately unclarified by the term “extractivism” is: Who controls the natural resources of oppressed nations — the imperial powers or these nations themselves? The fundamental class issue of the term “extractivism” is buried: who uses natural resources for whose interests, who benefits and who suffers.  The term “extractivism” ignores that Bolivia and Ecuador have taken control of their natural resources from imperialist corporations, and now use the wealth generated to improve the lives of their peoples not the bottom lines of Western corporations.

While Latin America has moved in an anti-imperialist, anti-neoliberal direction, and the ALBA countries have implemented social programs benefiting the historically disadvantaged, particularly the indigenous, many previous US supporters of Latin America sovereignty have moved in a direction hostile to this process. National development is attacked as “extractivism,” as threatening the environment and the indigenous supposedly untouched by Western civilization. Representing historically oppressed and excluded peoples in the national government is painted as “co-opting social movements.” Chinese developmental aid to these countries, now increasingly boycotted by Western banks and corporations, is painted as “submitting to Chinese imperialism.”

Upside Down World and similar liberal-left media, for instance, claim that the indigenous of Ecuador are opposed to “extractivism.” However, during the August 2015 protests against Correa, one CONAIE group actually protested because government stopped a project because of its potential environmental damage:

“in the Southeastern province of Morona Santiago, a group of Indigenous Achuar people have protested for the third consecutive day in front of the governor’s building, responding to the call by the opposition-aligned indigenous confederation CONAIE. The Indigenous group’s main complaint regards the federal decision to suspend the environmental license, preventing the province from continuing the work on the Taisha road. Earlier in June, the Ministry of Environment imposed sanctions against the provincial government of Morona Santiago, revoking its environmental license and imposing a $70,800 fine over environmental damages caused during the Macuma-Taisha road project.” [38]

Do not expect this alternative media to inform us that these indigenous were protesting Correa because of the government’s opposition to building a road through an ecologically sensitive area.

Moreover, the previous CONAIE president, Humberto Cholango,  has said  “Many nationalities of the Amazonia say “look, we are the owners of the territory, and yes we want it to be exploited.”  These agree with Correa, and the majority of Ecuadorans, that to leave valuable natural resources untouched while people go without schools, roads,  medical care, employment, hurts their own interests. [39]

Readers of Upside Down World and NACLA will not read this, and are instead told the protests were against “extractivism” and for Original Peoples’ language rights. (The Ecuador government actually recognizes fourteen separate Original People languages).

In Ecuador: New left or new colonialism? Fred Fuentes writes:

“No government, even one that comes to power on the back of an insurrection and that destroys the capitalist state, would be able to meet the needs of the Ecuadorian people while at the same time halting all extractive industries. However, it can attempt to strike a balance between protecting the environment and industrializing the country, providing free education and health care for all, empowering the people to take power into their own hands. The difficulty of such a task means mistakes will be made, but also learnt from.

 

To overcome Ecuador’s legacy of dependency on extractive industries, rich imperialist nations will need to repay their historic debts to Ecuador’s people. The lack of any willingness to do so has been shown by the response from foreign governments to the bold Yasuni Initiative launched by the Correa government in 2007….

 

Until rich countries are held to account for the crimes they have committed against oppressed Third World nations no opponent of imperialism can legitimately denounce the Ecuador or Bolivia government for using wealth from its natural resources to meet peoples’ needs.

 

Environmental concerns are valid, but so are the very real needs of people to be able to access basic services that many of us take for granted. And we should never forget who the real culprits of the environmental crisis are.

 

Rather than diverting attention from these Western powers and onto anti-imperialist Latin American governments, we should focus on the real enemies we and the peoples of the oppressed nations face in common. Their fate is intertwined with our fight at home against Western governments and their corporate bosses.” [40]

Fuentes writes elsewhere:

“Our task is to oppose imperialist [interference], but “The challenges Bolivia… they are a direct result of centuries of colonialism and imperialist oppression, which have entrenched Bolivia in its role within the world economy as a dependent raw commodity exporter. Any chance Bolivia has of moving in a post-capitalist and post-extractivist direction depends on the creation of a new global order, starting with the reshaping of hemispheric relations. This is precisely what the Bolivian government has attempted to do….the main way we can help Bolivia’s social movements is still by winning over working people in the North to a position of solidarity with Bolivia. And the best way to do this is… to build an international movement against the imperialist system…[We must focus on] explaining why, as long as imperialism exists, Bolivia’s process of change will undoubtedly continue to face tremendous obstacles and dangers…. ‘only a popular uprising of unprecedented scale will prompt nations of the Global North to take their responsibility to the rest of the globe seriously, and constrain the coercive forces that constrain states like Bolivia.’”[41]

Conclusion

We expect the corporate media to conceal the impact of Western pillaging on the oppressed Third World countries, and to participate in the West’s on-going efforts to return pro-Western neoliberal governments.  However, for liberal-left media and organizations to take a similar stand, even if watered down, is nothing other than apologetics for imperialist interference. Not to emphasize imperialism’s historic and continuing exploitive role is not simply dishonest, not simply apologetics, but also shows a basic lack of human feeling and solidarity with the peoples of the Third World.

Any serious analysis, whether progressive or not, of an Third World country must start with the role Western imperialism has played. If not, the analysis does not clarify the causes of the problems their people face, but indirectly gives cover to the criminal impact of imperialism against the country.

Too many articles are written on the events in Ecuador and Bolivia in the alternative media as if US imperialism is not an important player. These alternative media sources actually advocate for indigenous groups and environmental NGOs which are USAID and US corporate financed. And they criticize these countries for defending their national sovereignty by shutting down what Bolivian Vice-President Linera called “foreign government financed organization NGOs” operating in their countries.

The stated USAID budget for Latin America is said to be $750 million, but estimates show that the secret part of the funding, partly in the hands of the CIA, may total twice that.[42] This information, and how this money is spent, ought to be a focus of any liberal-left alternative media purporting to stand up for the oppressed peoples of the Americas.

In June 2012, unlike NACLA, et al, the foreign ministers of the ALBA countries were quite clear on the devious work of USAID in their homelands in their June 2012 resolution:

“Citing foreign aid planning and coordination as a pretext, USAID openly meddles in sovereign countries’ domestic affairs, sponsoring NGOs and protest activities intended to destabilize legitimate governments which are unfavorable from Washington’s perspective. Documents released from the US Department of State archives carry evidence that financial support had been provided to parties and groups oppositional to the governments of ALBA countries, a practice tantamount to undisguised and audacious interference on the US behalf. In most ALBA countries, USAID operates via its extensive NGO networks, which it runs outside of the due legal framework, and also illicitly funds media and political groups. We are convinced that our countries have no need for external financial support to maintain the democracy established by Latin American and Caribbean nations, or for externally guided organizations which try to weaken or sideline our government institutions.” [43]

We find some liberal-left alternative media knowingly or unknowingly giving legitimacy to US soft coup plotting,  painting US collaborators in Bolivia and Ecuador as defenders of free expression, defenders of nature, defenders of the indigenous. The US government’s “talking points” on the leaders of the progressive ALBA bloc have worked their way into liberal-left alternative media, which echo the attacks on these governments by the organizations that have received US funds.[44]  That is not to say that Amazon Watch or Upside Down World or NACLA are themselves funded by the US government – if it somehow exculpates them that they do this work for free. Even worse, much of this propaganda against Evo and Correa appears only in the liberal-left alternative press, what we consider our press. Many of the people who were our allies, or allies on many other issues today, are on the other side of the fence.

As Cory Morningstar wrote:

“In retrospect, most anyone can and will easily condemn the colonizing of natives by missionaries in the 18th and 19th centuries. Yet, today, with NGOs having fulfilled this role to continue the practice into the 20th and 21st centuries – we collectively refuse to acknowledge it. We ignore it. We even defend it. The white paternalism continues with the blessing of the liberal left. ‘Maybe they are good!’ the liberal left cries. ‘Maybe the Indigenous communities like them!’ We can observe the photos of missionaries and their ‘subjects’ in the past. There appears to be no resistance. Yet, we still comprehend that this was wrong.”

But not only do liberal-left alternative media and NGOs let themselves become conveyer belts for US regime change propaganda. It also illustrates what many who consider themselves on the left still have not come to terms with:  their own arrogant traditionally white attitude that they share with Western colonizers and present day ruling elites: we know better than you what is good for you, we are the best interpreters and defenders of  your democracy and human rights. That is why they criticize Third World governments that are progressive or independent of US control – targets for US regime change and color revolution. In contrast, genuine support for the peoples of the Third World means basing yourself in opposition to imperialism and exposing US attempts to overthrow governments and undermine movements seeking to break free from the Western domination.

 

[1] Green Left Weekly series on Correa and WikiLeaks:  https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/57531

[2] http://inthesetimes.com/uprising/entry/14202/indigenous_movements_clash_with_latin_americas_left_turn/

More liberal-left alternative media articles attacking Ecuador:

Amazon’s Female Defenders Denounce ‘Macho’ Repression and Demand Rights

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/10/19/amazons-female-defenders-denounce-macho-repression-and-demand-rights

Ecuador Moves to Close Leading Environmental Organization as Part of Crackdown on Civil Society

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2016/12/21/ecuador-moves-close-leading-environmental-organization-part-crackdown-civil

Ecuador’s social movements push back against Correa’s neoliberalism

https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/ecuadors-social-movements-push-back-against-correas-neoliberalism/

How protests forced Ecuador’s upcoming runoff presidential election

https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/ecuador-protests-forced-runoff-elections/

People vs. Big Oil: A Mosaic of Oil and Attack Dogs

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38240-people-vs-big-oil-part-ii-a-mosaic-of-oil-and-attack-dogs

New Witch Hunt in Ecuador Against Indigenous and Environment Defenders

http://www.alternet.org/environment/new-witch-hunt-ecuador-against-indigenous-and-environment-defenders

“Beyond the Petrostate: Ecuador’s Left Dilemma,” the author raises some other issue against Correa. https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/riofrancos-beyond-petrostate-ecuador-left-dilemma           Christian Tym answers this very well in reply to Guardian smears on Correa. http://www.importantcool.com/murder-amazon-guardians-quest-correa/

Deep in the Amazon a Tiny Tribe is Beating Big Oil

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/28648-deep-in-the-amazon-a-tiny-tribe-is-beating-big-oil

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/together-with-earth/deep-in-the-amazon-a-tiny-tribe-is-beating-big-oil

http://www.coha.org/corrupted-idealism-bolivias-compromise-between-development-and-the-environment/

(which, for instance, pushes the story  of  “the unanimous rejection by indigenous communities of a highway constructed through TIPNIS”)

Ecuador To Sell One Third Of Pristine Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies http://www.mintpressnews.com/213663-2/213663/

[3] https://nacla.org/blog/2012/7/2/bolivia-tipnis-marchers-reach-la-paz-following-police-strike-and-coup-allegations

[4] https://nacla.org/blog/2011/8/26/bolivia-tipnis-marchers-face-accusations-and-negotiations

[5] http://upsidedownworld.org/main/international-archives-60/4816-the-politics-of-pachamama-natural-resource-extraction-vs-indigenous-rights-and-the-environment-in-latin-america  

[6] http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/09/26/end-to-usaid-spying-looms-in-latin-america.html

https://globalintelnews.wordpress.com/author/globalintelnews/page/8/

[7] http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2011/09/bolivia-ngos-wrong-on-morales-and.html

[8] For instance:

“The Democracy CentreAvaaz and Amazon Watch are the main three NGOs, heavily funded by U.S. interests (Rockefellers, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation and Soros to name a few), who led the recent International campaign in which they denounced and demonized Bolivian Indigenous leader Evo Morales and his government. This destabilization campaign focused on the TIPNIS protests. A violent confrontation between TIPNIS protestors (influenced/funded by U.S. NGOs/USAID/CIDOB) and the police was the vital opportunity needed in order to execute a destabilization campaign that the U.S. has been strategically planning.”

https://thewrongkindofgreen.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/u-s-funded-democracy-centre-reveals-its-real-reason-for-supporting-the-tipnis-protest-in-bolivia-redd/

[9]  http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2011/09/29/about-u-s-amazon-watch-take-action-help-stop-police-repression-in-bolivia-2/

[10]  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Amazon_Watch

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2011/09/29/about-u-s-amazon-watch-take-action-help-stop-police-repression-in-bolivia-2/

[11]  http://www.la-razon.com/nacional/Pedro-Nuni-lideres-regionales-proyecto_0_1946805357.html

[12]  http://upsidedownworld.org/main/ecuador-archives-49/2717-conaie-on-the-attempted-coup-in-ecuador

[13] https://machetera.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/quitos-police-cia-breeding-ground/

http://www.rebelion.org/noticias/2010/10/114032.pdf

[14] http://machetera.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/behind-the-coup-in-ecuador/

[15] Eva Golinger: “CONAIE blamed Correa for the coup, saying he was responsible for the crisis. By doing that while the coup is in action, it justifies it.” http://www.chavezcode.com/2010/10/evidence-of-ned-fundingaid-to-groups-in.html

[16]  http://www.cubadebate.cu/opinion/2010/10/04/veterano-de-la-cia-detras-del-golpe-en-ecuador/#.VjECqLerTIV

USAID is Behind the Ecuadorian Organizations Seeking to Destabilize the Government Coup in Ecuador – by Eva Golinger

http://www.contrainjerencia.com/?p=20735 states:

Eva Golinger, U.S. writer and researcher, told the state news agency Andes, that many Ecuadorian organizations, some linked to the indigenous movement and directed by National Assembly member Lourdes Tibán, receive financial funding from the State Department the United States, through USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and NED (National Endowment for Democracy) to destabilize the government of President Rafael Correa.

Speaking to Andes, Golinger reiterated that the Assemblyperson Lourdes Tibán, of the left Pachakutik Party (political wing of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, CONAIE) is part of Indigenous Enterprise Corporation, an organization that “actively” receives funding from USAID.
The group, of which is Tibán a founder, is  advised by a veteran of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Norman Bailey, who two years ago was head of a special intelligence mission of the U.S. government Cuba and Venezuela, said Golinger. Another group funded by USAID is “Citizen Participation,” said the researcher, who studies U.S. interference in the countries of the region.
When asked by journalist whether she repeats the accusation against Assembly person Tibán, Golinger said she found evidence that the Assemblyperson is funded by USAID.

“I found what are proofs of it. I do not know if she denies it, but it is impossible to for her to deny it when there is evidence ¨ Golinger said.

As evidence, the writer and researcher said that ¨ Tibán belongs to an organization that has received funding from U.S. agencies such as the NED, as well as the USAID, a financial arm of the Department of State. If I remember correctly, she belongs to one of these groups which has on its board a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, Norman Baily. He is a longtime member of the U.S. intelligence community, and is an advisor to this organization belongs (Indigenous Enterprise Corporation), of which Tiban is founder.¨

“Beyond that I do not know Tibán receives funds personally, but she does belong to an organization that receive funding from U.S. government agencies.¨

Golinger insisted that the resources Tiban receives from the State Department of the United States she uses to destabilize democracy.

“Veterano de la CIA, detrás del Golpe en Ecuador”, por Eva Golinger

http://mercosulcplp.blogspot.com/2010/10/veterano-de-la-cia-detras-del-golpe-en.html

https://machetera.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/behind-the-coup-in-ecuador/

see also Golinger and Oscar Heck in http://www.chavezcode.com/2010/10/evidence-of-ned-fundingaid-to-groups-in.html     

Violence, disinformation, outright lies and anti-government propaganda

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=84531

VHeadline writer Oscar Heck tells us:

In recent days, in Ecuador, there has been an indigenous movement against the Ecuadorian government’s National Assembly reading/review of Ecuador’s new Water Laws, which, as far as I know, under their constitution, obliges the Ecuadorian government to be the sole custodian of water resources.

This issue seems to be clearly understood by most Ecuadorians … yet a small group of Natives from near the Cayambe region, close to Quito, has started demonstrations (some violent or violence-provoking) accusing the Ecuadorian government of trying to “privatize” the water and seeking to pass laws to not allow local water commissions any say in the use and distribution of water resources.

The protests are organized by an indigenous group called the Confederation Of Indigenous Nationalities Of Ecuador (CONAIE). The assumptions propagated by the likes of CONAIE, that the government will privatize the water resources and/or no allow local water commissions, are completely false according to Rafael Correa.

It is as if something or someone somewhere in that region is implanting lies into the minds of the locals … just like the NED-financed Venezuelan organizations (CTV, Fedecamaras, Primero Justicia, Sumate, CEDICE, etc.) are paid by the US government to lie to the public and manipulate information in order to create unrest … and subsequent violence … to then blame or vilify local government.

So, what is CONAIE?

CONAIE was formed out of the union of two already existing organizations, ECUARUNARI and CONFENIAIE.  ECUARUNARI, the regional organization of the Sierra that has been functioning for over 20 years, and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon(CONFENIAE), formed in 1980, created that same year the National Coordinating Council of the Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, CONACNIE.”

Now, since I highly suspect that CONAIE is financed, influenced, controlled or infiltrated in some fashion by the US government, I decided to go through the NED’s website.  I found the following (and more):

Grantor: NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED)

Grantee: Corporación Instituto Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador (Indigenous Enterprise Institute of Ecuador) (IEIE)

Country(ies): Ecuador

Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Subject(s): Business and Economics

Grant Awarded: 2006

Amount: 67,955

Grantor: NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED)

Grantee: Fundación Q’ellkaj (Q’ellkaj Foundation)

Country(ies): Ecuador

Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Subject(s): Youth

Grant Awarded: 2006

Amount: 91,256

So what is the, Corporación Instituto Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador?

And what is Fundación Q’ellkaj (Q’ellkaj Foundation)?

I decided to look into it and found more than I expected.  I went to the website of Corporación Instituto Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador, which is actually Corporación Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador … or CEIE … a not-for-profit organization founded in 2005 by Ángel Medina, Mariano Curicama, Lourdes Tibán, Fernando Navarro, and Raúl Gangotena.  Their website also states that Norman Bailey is one of their honorary members.

And who are the other characters involved in the CEIE? According to their website, I quote excerpts in Spanish:

ANGEL MEDINA“ … fundador y presidente de la Fundación Q´ellkaj …”

FERNANDO NAVARRO “ … Presidente de la Federación de Cámaras de Comercio del Ecuador…”

RAUL GANGOTENA  “… Tiene relación con los siguientes organismos internacionales: Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy … Embajador del Ecuador en los Estados Unidos … Actuó como consejero para la Subsecreataría de Defensa en 2001 …”

LOURDES TIBAN “… Asesora del Consejo Político de la ECUARUNARI … la Declaración de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas en Washington DC …”

Below are the connections I can find between the information found on the NED and CIEI websites and CONAIE (who are the ones organizing the anti-government protests are in Ecuador):

-Lourdes Tiban, who is one of the co-founders of CIEI worked with ECUARUNARI, which was one of the founding organizations of CONAIE.

-Both CIEI and Q´ellkaj receive NED financing. Angel Medina is/was founder and president of Q´ellkaj and co-founder of CIEI … and he works with Lourdes Tiban, who was involved with ECUARUNARI, a member organization of CONAIE.

-Raul Gangotena, another co-founder of NED-financed CIEI, has/had direct links with the NED and works with Lourdes Tiban, who has/had links to ECUARUNARI, which has/had links to CONAIE.

-Fernando Navarro, another co-founder of CIEI, was president of the Ecuadorian federation of chambers of commerce. The Federación de Cámaras de Comercio del Ecuador is the equivalent to the NED-financed Fedecamaras in Venezuela, one of the organizations which headed up the violent coup against democratically-elected Chavez in 2002 and the subsequent violent economic sabotage of the country in 2002 and 2003. Since he was probably a highly influential person, then he probably still is a highly influential person.  Since he works/worked with Lourdes Tiban, and since Lourdes has/had links to ECUARUNARI (indirectly CONAIE), then he may have influence over CONAIE.

At least one person at another Ecuadorian NED-financed indigenous organization (CIEI), has or has had links with CONAIE.  CIEI was coincidentally created in 2005, not long before Rafael Correa was elected president of Ecuador. Norman Bailey, who was present at the White House when the NED was created, is a member of CIEI.

Oscar Heck

oscar.heck@vheadline.com

http://www.vheadline.com/heck

Marlon Santi

PRESIDENT, CONAIE

Delfín Tenesaca

PRESIDENT, ECUARUNARI

Tito Puanchir

PRESIDENT, CONFENIAE

Olindo Nastacuaz

PRESIDENT, CONAICE

From Eva: “Organizations in Ecuador such as Participación Ciudadana and Pro-Justicia [Citizen Participation and Pro-Justice], as well as members and sectors of CODENPE, Pachakutik,CONAIE, the Corporación Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador [Indigenous Enterprise Corporation of Ecuador] and Fundación Qellkaj [Qellkaj Foundation] have had USAID and NED funds at their disposal.”

[17] http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2015/05/16/fundacion-pachamama-is-dead-long-live-alba-part-ii/

[18] http://www.minnpost.com/christian-science-monitor/2013/12/odds-ecuador-usaid-moves-leave (Interestingly, the newspaper the next day made a retraction that Pachamana was currently receiving USAID money).

[19] http://www.pachamama.org/news/we-stand-in-solidarity-with-fundacion-pachamama-in-ecuador    Amnesty International organized a similar campaign.

[20] https://orionmagazine.org/2012/03/breaking-up-with-the-sierra-club/

[21] https://intercontinentalcry.org/fundacion-pachamama-dead-long-live-alba-part-investigative-report/  (part 1)

[22]“Other foundation advisors include:  include Yolanda Kakabadse, president of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 2010, Trustee of the Ford Foundation, President of International Union for Conservation of Nature (1996-2004); Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF (2005-2010, US Secretary of Agriculture (2001-2005), named 46th most powerful woman by Forbes in 2009; Doug Hattaway, president of Hattaway Communication since 2001, Senior Communications Adviser for Hilary Clinton (2008); Michael Conroy, Board Chair of Forest Stewardship Council since 2010, Board Chair of Fair Trade USA (2003-2010; Jacob Olander, Director of Forest Trends’ Incubator since 2008, Co-founder of EcoDecisión since 1995, Expert in conservation finance and payments for ecosystem services; Florencia Montagnini, professor of Tropical Forestry at Yale University since 2001, research advisor to the Smithsonian Institute’s PRORENA program since 2001, expert in tropical forestry and agroforesty systems.

Runa foundation advisor Yolanda Kakabadse, of WWF, just happens to also be a member of the Environmental Advisory Board of CocaCola.” (ibid.)

[23] (part 4)

[24] (part 7)

[25] Fundacion Pachamama is Dead – Long Live ALBA | Part I of an Investigative Report

[26] https://nacla.org/news/2015/11/02/criminals-or-citizens-mining-and-citizen-protest-correa%E2%80%99s-ecuador

[27] Sandra Moog: “Exporting Institutionality” in Globalization, Philanthropy and Civil Society: Protecting Institutional Logics Abroad (2009)  p. 279

[28]  Quoted in Paul Dosh and Nicole Kligerman, “Correa vs. Social Movements: Showdown in Ecuador,” NACLA Report on the Americas, (September 17, 2009), https://nacla.org/node/6124;

Naomi Klein, “Open Letter to President Rafael Correa Regarding Closure of Acción Ecológica,” March 12, 2009

[29] see http://www.accionecologica.org/component/content/article/1868-carta-a-la-comunidad- -ecuatoriana-en-relacion-al-levantamiento-y-la-represion-generada-

[30] Her Facebook page has posts supporting all the pro-business elite protests against Correa and his proposal to raise taxes on the rich.

[31] https://www.change.org/p/rafael-correa-stop-the-deportation-of-manuela-picq

[32] http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Foreign-Academic-Detained-in-Ecuador-Riot-Faces-Deportation-20150816-0010.html

[33]  http://upsidedownworld.org/main/ecuador-archives-49/5422-ecuadors-new-indigenous-uprising

[34] http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=201393

[35] http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2015/06/23/fundacion-pachamama-is-dead-long-live-alba-part-iii/

[36] http://amazonwatch.org/news/2015/0819-ecuadorian-government-violates-human-rights-and-the-constitution

[37] http://www.elciudadano.gob.ec/la-violencia-extrema-predomino-en-manifestaciones-del-13-de-agosto/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+elciudadanogobec+%28ElCiudadano.gob.ec+-+Sistema+Oficial+de+Informaci%C3%B3n%29

Also Federico Fuentes:  https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/59776

[38] “http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Ecuador-Opposition-Unions-Call-for-National-Strike–20150819-0033.html”

[39] https://lalineadefuego.info/2014/04/11/entrevista-a-humberto-cholango-dios-la-naturaleza-y-las-fuerzas-de-los-espiritus-de-los-lideres-van-a-proteger-para-que-la-conaie-no-caiga-en-manos-de-la-derecha/

[40] https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/51353

[41] Fred Fuentes, “Bad Left Government” versus “Good Left Social Movements”? in Latin America’s Radical Left” pp. 120-121

[42] see “USAID Spying in Latin America”  http://www.globalresearch.ca/usaid-spying-in-latin-america/5306679

[43] http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7069

[44] https://nacla.org/blog/2013/12/31/close-ngos-asserting-sovereignty-or-eroding-democracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does CONAMAQ Represent Bolivia’s Highland Indigenous Peoples?

Bolivia Rising

May 22, 2014

Federico Fuentes

boliviaconamaqrehazamodificacionoderogaciondelaleydeprotecciondeltipnis

The Bolivian indigenous organization CONAMAQ made headlines earlier this year with its threats to blockade the Dakar rally on its passage through the highlands region.

This was not the first time that the organization caught the attention of the world’s media outlets. Leaders of CONAMAQ, which stands for National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu, have been regularly quoted in the media due their outspoken criticism of the Morales government.

Inevitably, CONAMAQ is described in the articles as “the main indigenous organization in Bolivia’s highlands”.

The two main indigenous groups in the highlands are the Aymara, and to a lesser extent the Quechua. They are also the two largest of the 36 indigenous peoples that inhabit Bolivia.

CONAMAQ’s radical, anti-government discourse, and its claims to represent highland indigenous peoples, have endeared the organization to many activists outside Bolivia.

However, this newfound image sits awkwardly with the organization’s history.

“Plan Tipnis” Seeks to Further Destabilize & Create the Conditions for a Coup in Bolivia

GOBIERNO Denuncia Plan Tipnis Para Afectar Estado de Derecho

Cambio, LA PAZ 

MARTES, 26 DE JUNIO DE 2012

Política

El vicepresidente Álvaro García Linera dijo que la estrategia usa la demanda legítima de la tropa policial y la vincula con la llegada de la marcha de la Cidob.

El Gobierno, ante el desconocimiento del acuerdo por parte de un sector de policías de base y la proximidad a La Paz de la marcha de la Cidob, confirma la aplicación de una estrategia subversiva denominada Plan Tipnis, que busca desestabilizar y crear las condiciones de un golpe de Estado en el país.

Citando reportes de Inteligencia y de prensa, el Gobierno, a través de un boletín del Ministerio de Comunicación, señala que el plan arrancó el 21 de junio con el motín de la Asociación Nacional de Suboficiales, Sargentos, Clases y Policías (Anssclapol) por demanda salarial, la que no se desactivó con el acuerdo de nueve puntos firmado la madrugada del domingo.

“La estrategia continuaba bloqueando y boicoteando la solución del conflicto policial con la posición intransigente de exigir como salario básico Bs 3.000, para luego convocar a maestros, trabajadores afiliados a la COB y activistas que marchan a La Paz con el apoyo del Gobierno Municipal paceño y funcionarios ediles”, señala parte de la denuncia gubernamental.

En rueda de prensa, el vicepresidente Álvaro García Linera confirmó que el Plan Tipnis tiene dos fases golpistas.

“Está en la fase inicial de apresto golpista, y en la segunda etapa buscan muertos (…) Hay comunicaciones radiales que vinculan (el conflicto policial) con el Plan Tipnis. Eso no es reivindicación, uno dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, diez veces hablan de bombas molotov, asesinar a militares, quemar unidades militares, de limpiar (matar) al ministro (de Gobierno) Carlos Romero y hacer golpe a Evo”, dijo García.

Los ideólogos del Plan Tipnis, a los que llamó “fuerzas oscuras”, se aprovechan de una demanda legítima de los policías y los manipulan. Denunció, por ejemplo, que el ex candidato político de Unidad Nacional, de Samuel Doria Medina, sacó armas de la UTOP el día del motín policial. El domingo, la ministra de Comunicación, Amanda Dávila, confirmó la circulación de comunicados públicos que señalan atacar con bombas molotov a ‘los plomos’ que custodian el Palacio de Gobierno.

La vinculación con el Tipnis tiene que ver con la coincidencia del arribo a La Paz, este miércoles, de la marcha de la Confederación de Indígenas del Oriente Boliviano (Cidob), liderada por el suspendido dirigente Adolfo Chávez. El domingo, el presidente Evo Morales, desde el centro minero Coro Coro, culpó a un grupo de policías de afanes de desestabilización que buscan su derrocamiento.

El dirigente de la Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) Simeón Jaliri denunció que el Plan Tipnis es la “sorpresa” de la que habló en pasados días Adolfo Chávez a su llegada a La Paz. “Este dirigente (Chávez), ha tenido varias reuniones con el ex asesor de Juan Del Granado, (Javier) Zárate y el ex candidato de UN Juan Carlos Soraide para coordinar”, dijo Jaliri.

Los analistas políticos Marcos Domich y Hugo Moldiz coinciden en que se trata de una estrategia de la derecha para gestar un golpe de Estado.


DATOS

• La opositora Unidad Nacional (UN), a través del diputado Jaime Navarro, según radio Fides, confirmó la estrategia de ese partido para llegar al Gobierno, pero “por votos y no un golpe”.

• El Gobierno denunció que en el motín de un sector de la tropa policial, que comenzó el jueves, se incrustaron actores políticos, como el ex mayor de policías David Vargas y el ex policía militante de Unidad Nacional Juan Carlos Soraide, entre otros.

Domich apunta a la derecha y al imperio

El analista político Marcos Domich considera que los aprestos subversivos contra el Gobierno y la democracia boliviana se gestan desde hace tiempo y detrás de éstos está el imperio a través de sus operadores de la derecha boliviana, como Unidad Nacional (UN) y el Movimiento Sin Miedo (MSM).

“Hemos afirmado antes el plan golpista que se liga con la marcha de la Cidob contra la consulta en el Tipnis”, dijo.  En su análisis, el objetivo final de estos afanes políticos es tomar el Palacio de Gobierno y en su opinión eso sería “grave”.

“Sin embargo, el pueblo no debe amedrentarse en salir a defender el proceso revolucionario que tuvo un elevado costo recuperarlo”, afirmó. “No hay duda de que es parte de la ofensiva imperialista de carácter global”, agregó.

False Solutions: CIDOB and COICA Call for REDD Indigena at Rio+20 (Spanish)

In Bolivia, CIDOB and COICA continue to undermine the Morales (MAS) Government’s position on REDD.

WKOG ADMIN: This text was provided by independent investigative journalist and ecological activist Cory Morningstar:
“JUNE 22, 2012: In Bolivia, CIDOB and COICA continued to undermine the Morales (MAS) Government’s position on REDD in Rio. This document (below) was sent to me. When I shared it with an anti-REDD documentary filmmaker who was in Rio working with the grossly marginalized Indigenous in Brazil, etc. she replied ‘What? That never came up at the Free Land Camp !!! They must have done that behind closed doors.'”

COICA PLANTEA CREAR UNA REDD INDÍGENA PARA EL RESPETO DE SUS TERRITORIOS      PDF

Escrito por administrador

Viernes, 22 de Junio de 2012 09:59

La Coordinadora de Naciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (Coica) plantea en los foros de la Conferencia sobre Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas Río+20, que se realiza en Brasil, la creación de una Redd Indígena para el respeto de los territorios originarios, informó Carlos Mamani de la delegación boliviana que participa en el evento internacional.

“Es una propuesta de los pueblos indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica que está siendo presentada en los foros internacionales. Redd Indígena es una alternativa que se enmarca en el cumplimiento de los derechos de los territorios indígenas, especialmente al respeto de derechos de los pueblos indígenas”, señaló Mamani.

The Origin of the Alliance Between Some Indigenous Leaders and the Right

By Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

January 11, 2012

Under Politics & Policy Tags: Bolivia, Indigenous

Camba image, used by the Bolivian Right to cultivate hatred towards the Colla

One of the more surprising decisions of Bolivian indigenism is the obvious alliance between the leaders of the Indigenous Confederation of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB, acronym in Spanish) and the conservative Green party (Verdes) of the governor of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas, against a process of change that defends the indigenous. It is an inconceivable decision, the logic of which can be understood only by taking into account, aside from the foreign million-dollar investment that stands behind it, the extensive campaign of manipulation that made it possible.

It began before World War II, during the revolutionary government of the camba Germán Busch, when, in Washington, Enrique Sanchez de Lozada was able to warn Nelson A. Rockefeller of the rise in Bolivia of revolutionary and nationalist intellectuals who sought to represent an indigenism that was beginning to claim its own political space. He proposed to get ahead of events by influencing the indigenous people through programs of social assistance. Rockefeller disseminated the proposal to the political circles of Washington using the enormous power that he exercised at the State Department.

In the economic sense, the Bohan Mission, sent to project the economic diversification of Bolivia, reached the foregone conclusion of empowering Santa Cruz. In the political sense, this was how the United States countered highlands anti-imperialism, transforming the Cruzan landowners into a modern dominant conservative class that it strengthened with agricultural and cattle-raising credits in the millions, aside from programs for irrigation and industrialization.

The manipulation had little effect in the highlands, simply because it arrived too late. The human concentration in mining centers and the support of the revolutionary governments had already united the indigenous people in powerful trade unions whose class consciousness was consolidated. In the east, to the contrary, control was absolute, due among other things to the fact that the indigenous people, called Cambas with a negative implication, lived separate from each other and in a state of absolute dependency on the agricultural and cattle-raising economy of the hacienda.

As Sanchez de Lozada had anticipated, the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR), which promoted the emancipation of the indigenous people, reached power through the revolution of 1952. But, so prepared was the United States for that possibility, that immediately the fighter and leader Hernan Siles Suazo was made to hand over the government to Victor Paz Estenssoro, the intellectual leader who negotiated with Washington the recognition of his government and who ended up by surrendering the revolution, fracturing the MNR into two opposing factions.

There arose in Bolivia the political practice of pretending to be revolutionary, to satisfy the people, while respecting the oligarchic interests in order to satisfy the United States, which financed everything. Fulfilling the promises of the emancipation of the indigenous people, the MNR incorporated the latter into civil society, but that did not go beyond rhetoric, because, at least in Santa Cruz, the new dominant class had not only captured the new electorate, but induced it to become part of the Right wing of the MNR that had surrendered the revolution.

From the time of colonialism, the whites had taken away the culture of indigenous peoples, completely alienating them from their warrior’s identity, respectful of nature and loving liberty. They did this by fighting them into submission, then instructing them in the catechism of a religion that conceived of slavery, and later incorporating them into the European culture based on social castes, leaving the indigenous to occupy the bottom level –precisely that of the slave, in its Latin version called servitude.

When universal suffrage turned the indigenous people into an attractive electorate, and the U.S.-supported Cruzan oligarchy took control of the right wing of the ruling party, they decided to re-acculturate themselves in order to better justify their representation of the indigenous. The word “Camba” went from being an insult to being cultivated as an adornment that humanized the whites. The oligarchy appropriated the identity of the Cambas, and that explains why the culture, the folklore, the religion, and even false beliefs were promoted by the power centers of the city of Santa Cruz, until there was implanted the aberration that the Cambas are the white leaders who set the political course, and the indigenous are the flock who follow them blindly for “religious” and “cultural” reasons.

An historical event that illustrates the resistance that the revolution found in Santa Cruz took place in 1957, when a commission from Agrarian Reform, which in theory had returned the land to the indigenous, attempted to enter the locality of Huacareta, but its members were murdered by the landowners. Facing pressure from public opinion, the authorities arrested the guilty parties, but later freed them because they had the backing of the business elite of the MNR that was protected by the United States, whose goal was to consolidate the capitalist system of the hacienda, or agricultural and cattle-raising corporation.

But U.S. support never comes free, and the new entrepreneurial class had to comply with the political objective with which it had been created: to oppose the highlands anti-imperialism and to support Washington’s policies, no matter how abusive these might be. That explains how Santa Cruz was made into the Achilles’ heel of the Bolivian revolution, always on the side of the right-wing dictatorships and of every neoliberal government supported by Washington in favor of looting and of the exploitation of the Bolivian people.

In order to continue to mislead the Cambas, generation after generation, there was presented in Santa Cruz in 1976, during the dictatorship of Gen. Banzer, the monument to Chiriguano the Indian, ordered by the Ladies’ Civic Committee. It was placed as a sentinel at the entrance to the city, in the middle of the highway to Cochabamba, arrogant and bellicose, reminding all that the eastern indigenous never allowed themselves to be dominated by the Inca empire. The truth is that the bloodiest war carried out by the eastern indigenous peoples was that against the Spanish empire, as is demonstrated by history and by the significant fact that Captain Nuflo Chaves founder of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, died at the hands of the indigenous, and the city had to be moved toward the west in order to escape from the hostilities.

The true history shows that the Guarani in effect drove the invaders from their lands, but it was not the Collas (westerners) who were expelled, as the Right insinuates, but the Spanish empire. Barely had the republican epoch began when a new invasion of white and mestizo land-seekers, backed by the army, was let loose upon the fertile territories of the indigenous. But the land theft was not easy, due to the combative spirit of the Guaraní, who resisted in a long and unequal war whose battles invariably ended in massacres, such as those of Karitati in 1840, Tiritati in 1862, Machareti and Ibague in 1874, and Kuruyuqui in 1892, in which 1,000 people died including men, women, and children. After the subjugation of the indigenous, servitude and forced labor were perpetuated until the present as an open secret that the Right and the Catholic Church denied, but that the International Labor Organization and the United Nations confirmed in 2005 and 2007.

The campaign of deceit carried out by the Right and its media, in which the Church always collaborated in complicit silence, continued with the pernicious planting of monuments around the city. In 1986, during the fourth administration of Victor Paz Estenssoro, during which, following the neoliberal mandate of the Washington Consensus, he handed the country over to the transnational corporations, the “Cambas” of the dominant class, sheltered within the Civic Committee pro Santa Cruz, inaugurated another monument as a symbol of separatism between the Cambas and the Collas: that of a little-known federalist called Andres Ibanez, fist raised high, defiant and looking also to the west along the same road to Cochabamba.

Just as was done with the warrior identity of the eastern indigenous, what was usurped now was the worthy image of a reformist leader who, inspired by the French revolution, died defending the interests of the indigenous in seeking equality in an oligarchic society. Ironically, the same social class that murdered him a hundred years earlier began to use his image as a symbol of separatism. The truth is that Ibanez raised his voice, fist and rifle against the oligarchy. He was killed for having abolished servitude, turned over unused land to the small farmer, and regulated the sugar industry, imposing the payment of taxes. Ibanez fought for a more just society and died for refusing to surrender his revolution. He was the precursor of the processes of change in Bolivia and Latin America. He turned to federalism only at the end of his government, as a last resort to defend his social reforms, as the Cruzan oligarchy, with its eternal campaign of intrigues, had managed to place him at odds with the central government.

It’s not strange that the Right, lacking all empathy for the Bolivian revolution that defends the country, continues to live politically from separatism. Neither is it strange that the million-dollar investments to seduce the leaders of CIDOB have yielded fruit. But this places the indigenous leaders in a paradox. They face a popular government that seeks to take the agrarian reform to the lowlands facing against the iron-clad opposition of the conservative green party of Gov. Costas, which, contrary to constitutional principles, has reserved to itself, through its Statute of Autonomy, the power to decide on the certification of ownership of those lands in order to continue to serve the dominant class that it represents.

What is strange, therefore, is that a few leaders in search of a leading role have decided to ignore that reality and to join with their historical enemies in an attempt to undo the process of change. By its origin, history, and nature, counter-revolutionary indigenism is a method of neocolonial submission that is imposing on the Bolivian people enormous social and economic costs.

There now exists an historic opportunity for the rest of the indigenous bases and for the Cambas in general, because, although the government of Morales has the political will to revert the looting that the landowners have imposed on the indigenous people, making real such a revolutionary act will not be possible so long as the oligarchy remains entrenched in the governorship of Santa Cruz, counseled by extreme-right U.S. Republicans and financed by the NED. Even less possible will it be, as long as the eastern indigenous remain under the control of the international Right, financed by USAID and the NGOs behind which lie hidden the interests of looting and of control of the planet.

The time has come for the Cambas to break free from the trauma of racism as to the Collas that the oligarchy has cultivated in their souls. Enough with the lies! Not only are the Cambas and Collas Bolivian brethren, we are by now so intermixed that separatism is irrational. There is no longer reason for such malice in the retelling of history, because the real war that Bolivians confront is the eternal war of looting by the Right against the resistance of the Left; the war between patriotic feelings of love for our nationality and the separatism that is indispensable for continuing the looting.

It’s time for the Cambas to represent themselves, to take over the political space that belongs to them, and to act in defense of their true class interest. In this way, the laws issued in La Paz in favor of the indigenous will be able to extend under better conditions to the eastern territories that until now continue to be unassailable redoubts of the transnational oligarchy.

www.juancarloszambrana.com

http://politicalcontext.org/blog/2012/01/the-origin-of-the-alliance-between-some-indigenous-leaders-and-the-right/

The Phenomenon of the Indigenous Counterrevolution

By Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

January 13, 2012

It is no secret that the United States finances the opposition to leftist governments, and that its motivation is to control natural resources. In the case of Bolivia, indigenous resistance to U.S. abuse made the indigenous people formidable defenders of human rights, but their symbiotic relationship with the land also made them defenders of natural resources. Evo Morales managed to tie up the loose ends of this symbiotic relationship, and, therefore, his victory was so significant for the indigenous peoples that now, in Bolivian politics, all roads pass through the indigenous. The extreme right had no choice but to invent their own indigenism, and, as absurd as it might be, the notion of an indigenous imperialism, the new political phenomenon in Bolivia, is an indigenism complacent with neoliberalism, the U.S. Embassy, the transnational oil companies, and the NGOs, where the interests of looting hide.

This novel mutation of the indigenous movement has its center of operations in the lowlands of Santa Cruz, coalescing around the Indigenous Confederation of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB), funded by USAID and supported by a legion of NGOs, as was demonstrated by the march opposing the road through the TIPNIS, and the agreement that the Guarani signed directly with the Repsol oil company, with the help of the NGO Nizkor, behind the back of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

In the latter case, Repsol simply put $14.8 million in a Certificate of Deposit for ten years, with the interests committed itself to give approximately $140,000 monthly to the Assembly of Guarani People (APG) for them to manage freely. Considering that international oil companies are for-profit entities, it is clear that there exists an ulterior motive, beyond the apparent philanthropy. As it happened with the TIPNIS road, where one of the mechanisms to create the dependency of the Indigenous, were the carbon bonds paid by the industrialized countries as a “compensation,” (which allows them, by the way, to continue polluting the planet), the consultation with the Indigenous that the new constitution establishes to approve the environmental permits for projects in their territories had been kidnapped in advance by the interests of plunder, in order to boycott the process of change.

The U.S., the transnational corporations, the NGOs, the Right, its powerful press, and even the Catholic Church, were openly promoting the new indigenous counterrevolutionary leadership, dependent on the interests of plunder, to put in place around the natural resources new local elites opposed to the national interest. Following the political mandates of their “benefactors,” the counterrevolutionary indigenous leaders proved that they could oppose every project and even destabilize the government, which ultimately means boycotting the process of change, and why not, even overthrowing Morales’ government.

History has shown that the Right, when is defeated democratically due to its in lack of arguments to convince a historically dispossessed people such as Bolivians of the benefits of pillage, resorts to the most curious and conspiratorial covert operations. The phenomenon of counterrevolutionary indigenism is undoubtedly one of those destabilizing projects. However, the manipulation is so obvious that it does not withstand the test of an objective analysis. The Bolivian people have already realized that the eternal war between Left and Right is the war between plundering and a people who refuse to be robbed one more day.

Having come to power, the Bolivian people have a new objective in the sphere of understanding. The Guarani people are beginning to understand, for example, that they don’t need to surrender to the transnational corporations that previously took 83% of the value of hydrocarbons and intend to do it again. What they need to do is to claim their portion of the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH), which is a resource for the welfare of the producing areas. They are finally understanding that the nationalization carried out by President Morales has multiplied those revenues, which are still being administered by the regional governments. These revenues, at least in the case of Santa Cruz, being in the hands of the Right, have been redistributed through projects that benefit the productive sectors in power. The indigenous Bolivians are finally understanding that some of that money belongs to them, and that all they have to do to manage it directly is to push for democratization of the concept of autonomy, which left behind national centralism only to become stuck in that of the governorships.

In December 2005, when Evo Morales won his first election by promising the people the nationalization of hydrocarbons, Tarija’s Governor (then Prefect) Mario Cossio, closely linked to transnational corporations, and speaking for the Right, said that they had lost the central government but not the hydrocarbons, because the new provincial governments would take over decision-making concerning those resources. Autonomy was, without a doubt, the plan “B” of the transnationals to control Bolivia’s hydrocarbons. It was not surprise, therefore, to confirm that the transnational oil companies were always part of the Right’s destabilizing structure that constantly conspired against Evo Morales’ government.

The process of renewing understanding that the Bolivian people are going through is actually a process of recovery from the enormous damage caused by the powerful campaign of disinformation with which the Right has managed to place them in a state of collective hypnosis, under which, as automatons, they have boycotted their own future. This process of awakening of consciousness was noted, for example, in the latest election of the Guarani People’s Assembly, in which the leader who signed the agreement with Repsol Oil lost the election facing a leadership that favors good relations with the government in order to carry out legislative changes to rescue their representation, and the right to self-manage their resources.

Something similar is starting to happen with the natives of the TIPNIS, who have already realized the manipulation to which they have been subjected by the interests of plunder. They understand that the national projects, being genuinely in favor of the classes previously forgotten are much more beneficial for them, as is, for example, the project of the Chapare development pole, which aims to make possible the substitution of coca leaf production with the industrialization and export of agricultural products under the communitarian production model, in which they are protagonists.

The transnationals boycotted the road to prevent the success of that production model, opposite to the capitalist agriculture model, that is controlling the world’s food production. Again, the motives of the conflict are the attempts of transnational corporatocracy to control Bolivia, and the efforts of the people to defend themselves.

In despite of all, the poor results of the huge imperialist investments to defeat Morales and his process of transformation prove that, in Bolivia, the counterrevolutionary indigenous movement will be just another U.S. experiment doomed to failure, simply because it prostitutes the indigenous identity by corrupting it for the benefit of exploiters, dragging it away from its natural symbiotic relationship with mother earth, which make the indigenous invariably anti-imperialist.

www.juancarloszambrana.com

http://politicalcontext.org/blog/2012/01/the-phenomenon-of-the-indigenous-counterrevolution/

Bolivia: Rumble Over Jungle Far from Over

Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Green Left Weekly

By Federico Fuentes

March from TIPNIS arrives in La Paz.

Despite the government reaching an agreement with indigenous protesters on all 16 demands raised on their 10-week march onto the capital, La Paz, the underlying differences are far from resolved.

On October 24, Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly approved a new law banning the building of any highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS).

Many groups supported the highway, which would have connected the departments of Beni and Cochabamba, and provide poor rural communities with greater access to markets and basic services.

However, it was opposed by 20 of the 64 indigenous communities in TIPNIS. It became the central rallying point of the march led by the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB).

The march gained much sympathy, particularly among urban middle class sectors, after police meted out brutal repression against protesters on September 24.

Bolivian President Evo Morales immediately denied giving any orders to repress the protest. Apologising for the terrible event, Morales ordered a full investigation into the police attack.

Nevertheless, some important mobilisations in solidarity with the marchers were held in the days afterwards.

In response, government supporters took to the streets on October 12. Hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples, campesinos (peasants), miners and neighbourhood activists from El Alto flooded the capital.

Having reached La Paz on October 19, march leaders sat down with Morales and government ministers for two days to reach agreement on their demands.

These demands ranged from opposition to the highway to land reform and the right of indigenous peoples to receive funds in return for converting forests within their traditional lands into carbon offsets.

It did not take long for the dispute to reignite, this time over the word “untouchable”, which was inserted into the TIPNIS law at the request of march leaders.

According to the government, the term “untouchable” required the immediate expulsion of all logging and tourism companies operating within TIPNIS, in some cases illegally.

However, march leaders who opposed the highway defended the industrial-scale logging within TIPNIS.

This includes two logging companies who operate more than 70,000 hectares within the national park and have signed 20 year contracts with local communities.

The government denounced the presence of a tourist resort within TIPNIS, equipped with two private airstrips to fly foreigners willing to pay US$7600 to visit the park.

Of this money, only $200 remains with local communities that have signed the contract with the foreign company.

Rather than defending some kind of romanticised “communitarianism”, much of the motivation behind the march was an attempt by community leaders to defend their control over natural resources as a means to access wealth.

The same is true of many of those groups that have demanded the law be overturned and the highway go ahead. Campesinos and coca growers see the highway as an opportunity to gain access to land for cultivation.

These differences underpin the divergent views regarding the new land law being proposed by campesino groups, but opposed by groups such as CIDOB.

The CIDOB advocates large tracts of land be handed over to indigenous communities as protected areas. Campesino groups are demanding more land be distributed to campesino families.

These differences have led to a split in the Unity Pact, which united the five main campesino and indigenous organisations despite longstanding differences.

This is perhaps the most important divisipn to have opened up within the Morales government’s support base. But is far from being the only one.

The TIPNIS march served as a pretext for opposition parties based among the urban middle classes to break down government support in these sectors.

On October 16, Bolivians took part in a historic vote to elect judges to the Constitutional Tribunal, the Agro-environmental Tribunal and Magistrates Council.

The corporate media used exit poll figures to announce that most had nullified their votes as opposition parties had called for. But the final result showed a different picture.

As votes from rural areas began to be counted, the supposed crushing victory for null votes was whittled away. The final results showed valid and null votes tying at 42%.

The opposition tried to turn the vote into a referendum on Morales.

Despite attempts to portray the null vote as a “progressive” protest vote against Morales, the results clearly showed that opposition to the election of judges was strongest in the right-wing controlled departments of the east and in the urban middle and upper class sectors.

In rural and poor urban areas, such as El Alto, valid votes overwhelming won out.

The null votes came from the same middle class sectors that came out onto the streets of La Paz in support of the indigenous march, and who spat out racist epitaphs against Morales and indigenous government supporters when they marched through the capital.

Meanwhile, territorial conflicts between various departments and local councils scrambling for resources and access to central government funding continue to provide headaches for the government.

Morales called a national summit for December to bring together the country’s social movements to collectively come up with a new “national agenda”.

The likelihood, however, of achieving consensus for a national development plan among competing social organisations, all with their own sectoral interests and who have seen that it is possible to twist the government’s arm by protesting, will no doubt be a difficult task.

[Federico Fuentes edits Bolivia Rising.]

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49515

Bolivia: Solidarity Activists Need to Support Process

Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Green Left Weekly

By Federico Fuentes

Bolivia’s first indigenous president celebrates winning a recall referendum in August 2008.

The recent march in Bolivia by some indigenous organisations against the government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) has raised much debate among international solidarity activists.

Such debates have occurred since the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005 on the back of mass uprisings.

Overwhelmingly, solidarity activists uncritically supported the anti-highway march. Many argued that only social movements — not governments — can guarantee the success of the process of change.

However, such a viewpoint is not only simplistic; it can leave solidarity activists on the wrong side.

Kevin Young’s October 1 piece on Znet, “Bolivia Dilemmas: Turmoil, Transformation, and Solidarity”, tries to grapple with this issue by saying that “our first priority [as solidarity activists] must be to stop our governments, corporations and banks from seeking to control Bolivia’s destiny”.

Yet, as was the case with most articles written by solidarity activists, Young downplays the role of United States imperialism and argues the government was disingenuous in linking the protesters to it.

Others went further, denying any connection between the protesters and US imperialism.

The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB), the main organisation behind the march, has no such qualms. It boasted on its website that it received training programs from the US government aid agency USAID.

On the site, CIDOB president Adolfo Chavez, thanks the “information and training acquired via different programs financed by external collaborators, in this case USAID”.

Ignoring or denying clear evidence of US funding to such organisations is problematic. Attacking the Bolivian government for exposing this, as some did, disarms solidarity activists in their fight against imperialist intervention.

But biggest failure of the solidarity movement has been its silence on US and corporate responsibility for the conflict.

The TIPNIS dispute was not some romanticised, Avatar-like battle between indigenous defenders of Mother Earth and a money-hungry government intent on destroying the environment.

Underpinning the conflict was the difficult question of how Bolivia can overcome centuries of colonialism and underdevelopment to provide its people with access to basic services while trying to respect the environment. The main culprits are not Bolivian; they are imperialist governments and their corporations.

We must demand they pay their ecological debt and transfer the necessary technology for sustainable development to countries such as Bolivia (demands that almost no solidarity activists raised). Until this occurs, activists in rich nations have no right to tell Bolivians what they can and cannot do to satisfy the basic needs of their people.

Otherwise, telling Bolivian people that they have no right to a highway or to extract gas to fund social programs (as some NGOs demanded), means telling Bolivians they have no right to develop their economy or fight poverty.

Imperialism aims to keep Third World nations subordinate to the interests of rich nations. This is one reason foreign NGOs and USAID are trying to undermine the Morales government’s leading international role in opposing the grossly anti-environmental policies, such as Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).

REDD uses poor nations for carbon offsets so corporations in rich countries can continue polluting. Support for REDD was one of the demands of the protest march.

Young says “our solidarity should be with grassroots revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and defenders of human rights, not with governments or parties”.

But, as the TIPNIS case shows, when governments are trying to grapple with lifting their country out of underdevelopment, the demands of social movements with competing sectoral interests may clash.

In fact, some of the most strident supporters of the highway were also the very same social movements that solidarity activists have supported in their struggles against neoliberal governments during the last decade.

In such scenarios, you can only choose between supporting some social movement demands by dismissing legitimate demands of others, as many did with the TIPNIS case.

Lasting change can only come about when social movements begin to take power into their own hands when social movements become governments.

It is this objective that Bolivia’s social movements set. They forged their own political instrument through struggle ? commonly known as the Movement Towards Socialism ? and won a government they see as their own.

Having gone from a position of “struggle from below” to taking government from the traditional elites as an instrument to achieve their goal of state power, these social movements have begun winning control over natural resources and enacted a new constitution.

Converting the constitution’s ideals into a new state power remains a task for the Bolivian revolution.

But its success depends on the ability of “grassroots revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and defenders of human rights” ? operating within and without the existing state ? to struggle in a united way.

Our solidarity must be based on the existing revolutionary struggle in Bolivia, not a romanticised one we would prefer.

A permanent state of protests may be attractive for solidarity activists, but ultimately can only translate into a permanent state of demoralisation unless social movements can go beyond opposing capitalist governments and create their own state power.

Refusing to support the struggles as they exist illustrates a lack of confidence in the Bolivian masses to determine their own destiny. It also displays an arrogance on the part of those who, having failed to hold back imperialist governments at home, believe they know better than the Bolivians how to develop their process of change.

Mistakes are made in any struggle. But such mistakes should not be used to try and pit one side against another. We should have confidence that these internal conflicts can be resolved by the social movements themselves.

[Federico Fuentes edits Bolivia Rising.]

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49516

BOLIBYA? | Obama: Libya is the International Model [Including Recent Article by Author Juan Carlos Zambrana]

Obama: Libya is the International Model

The world is lucky that NATO cannot intervene for the use of tear gas … because if they could, they no doubt would in the case of Bolivia. Home of the world’s most vast reserves of lithium in a country rich with natural resources.

According to the article/report below written by author of Juan Carlos Zambrana (Secret of State), it looks like some in the U.S. are hoping for such an outcome.

Barack Obama speaking at the United Nations Assembly via Washington Times:

Almost six months to the day after he committed U.S. troops to aid Libya’s rebels, President Obama on Tuesday declared his policy a success and told the United Nations its strategy of collective sanctions, military protection and humanitarian assistance saved thousands of lives, ousted a bad regime and should serve as a model for future world hot spots.

“This is how the international community should work in the 21st century — more nations bearing the responsibility and costs of meeting global challenges,” Mr. Obama said. “Indeed, it is the very purpose of this United Nations. So every nation represented here today can take pride in the innocent lives we saved and in helping Libyans reclaim their country. It was the right thing to do.”

To read how Al-Jazeera was instrumental for the NATO war on Libya read the recent article “Al-Jazeera and the Triumph of Televised Propaganda” (“the height of duplicity was reached when a replica of the Green Square and Bab-el-Azizia was built in the studios of Al-Jazeera in Doha, where footage of false images was shot portraying pro-US “insurgents” entering Tripoli”).

On a side note, it is critical to note that only ALBA countries spoke out against the NATO war on Libya in which 50,000 people thus far have been killed.

Sector loyal to the opposition used the conflict of the Tipnis to protest in the U.S., insults Evo Morales and call to intervene the country

Cambio,  October 05, 2011

by Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

According to a report by journalist Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti, Washington, United States, a small group of people staged a singular protest near the White House. “They called the invasion of Bolivia with signs and photos included, captioned” Mubarak, Gaddafi and the following is Morales” he said.

WASHINGTON, US

On Saturday, October 1, someone mentioned that there was on Internet a call for a protest of Bolivian residents the next day, in front of the White House, in defense of the Tipnis. It seemed curious to me, and I decided to find out what it was about. I found several announcements, but one of them especially caught my attention. It called not only to protest against the building of the road, but also to observe a minute of silence for the “dead” and “disappeared” among the indigenous people resulting from the repression of the government of president Evo Morales.

Discredit Bolivia and Evo

The next day, my wife and I decided to go by the place, and saw a pitiful spectacle. Approximately 16 people, rather distanced from one another, walked in a circle of about 15 yards in diameter, from the center of which a man with a megaphone defamed Bolivian president Evo Morales.

Rounding out the scene of the burial of the Tipnis, or of the dead at the Tipnis, was Death itself, dressed in green and white with a sign that said “Evo murderer.” “They believe blindly in the disinformation,” I thought, because maybe they did not know that there had been not a single shot in the breaking up of the march, far less any deaths.

The issue of the Tipnis seemed to go unnoticed by the protestors, who were more focused on insulting president Morales, calling him a drug trafficker for wanting to build what they called “the cocaine highway.” Also, a dictator, supposedly for wanting to destroy democracy by holding “political prisoners,” without mentioning the common crimes with which their leaders are charged in Bolivia, their economic crimes against the Bolivian state, the charges of terrorism and armed uprising due to which a large part of the old Cruzan elite turned themselves into refugees rather than runaways from justice.

They called for the invasion of Bolivia

They also asked for an invasion of Bolivia, with signs and photos included, captioned “Mubarak, Gaddafi, and Morales is next. No more dictators!” By means of such violence they demanded democracy in Bolivia, accusing the OAS and the UN of having sold out to Morales’ government by not having responded to their obviously unfounded complaints.

As a last resort, they protested in front of the White House in an effort to bolster, in the name of the Bolivian people, the interventionist pressures that the Republican extreme Right maintains against the Obama administration.

“This does not even remotely represent Bolivia,” I commented, seeing familiar faces among the protestors. “Nor the Bolivian community in Virginia,” added my wife, Elena Abolnik

Small group

The group of participants was reduced to political opponents of Evo Morales and to the Cruzans organized around the now-dissolved Pro-Santa Cruz Committee of Virginia and the present Cruzan Carnival and Day of Tradition.

Curiously, the Cruzans present there were not even a fair representation of Santa Cruz, far less of the Bolivian people. Elena and I knew that for sure, for, as we both are Cruzans and members of pro-Bolivia organizations, we knew other Cruzans and Bolivians who understand clearly the value of the process of change in our country.

It occurred to Elena that maybe they did not know, with the exception of the organizers, what they were doing in belittling Bolivia in that way. “Could be,” I answered, but we left, commenting that what was expressed in the protest followed the talking points that the Bolivian opposition uses when it comes to Washington to ask for intervention in Bolivia, based on the common interest to do so that is shared by their Republican peers.

The same thing was said to the Republican leadership at the Capitol, on November 17, 2010, by Luis Nuñez, speaking for the Cruzans, and by Victor Hugo Velasco, for the indigenous people.

These were two apocryphal representations that reflected the new political alliance of the opposition to Morales, which pretends a connection between the conservative ideology of the extreme Right and the indigenous people, who have become an influential electorate.

Still, the protest did not take place by chance. It represented something, and what I could recognize was the inconsistency of the cause of the Bolivian opposition, a few people saying outrageous things in the name of the Bolivian people. Yelling, or rather insulting, frustrated by becoming ever more isolated in their political-religious fundamentalism in the face of an overwhelming majority of Bolivians who understand perfectly the fairness of the process of change.

It behooves them to reflect on the consequences that similar attitudes had for the country in the past. The mining oligarchy, which asked for intervention against Busch and Villarroel, made possible the looting of the tin ore and the massacre of miners. The calls for interventionism against Torres led to the dictatorship of Banzer and the death of many Bolivians. The complaints against Lidia Geiler produced the bloody narco-state of Luis Garcia Meza, and the ones against Hernan Siles Suazo brought the neoliberalism that within two decades turned the country over to transnational corporations until only the leftovers remained.

Bolivian image damaged

It also behooves them to make an act of contrition for the damage that is being done to the image of the Bolivian community in Washington, DC by opposition politicians who, ever since they arrived in the United States, have gained a following among some people; protected behind organizations with cultural purposes, they have flooded community residents with political propaganda, constantly and systematically spreading disinformation generated from Bolivia.

Very often, our actions have unanticipated consequences, for which we are forever responsible, even if we do not understand this clearly for some time. We all have the right to dissent and to express ourselves, but it is extremely dangerous to promote political-military intervention against the land where we were born.

Filmed footage of the protest:

For more updates on Bolivia including a wealth of information not disclosed in mainstream media follow the website: www.juancarloszambrana.com

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Sector afín a la oposición usa el conflicto del Tipnis en EEUU, insulta a Evo y pide intervenir el país

Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

WASHINGTON, EEUU

El sábado 1 octubre me comentaron que circulaba en Internet una convocatoria para el día siguiente a una protesta de residents bolivianos frente a la Casa Blanca en defensa del Tipnis. Me pareció curioso, por lo que decidí averiguar de qué se trataba. Encontré varias convocatorias, pero una de ellas me llamó la atención en particular. Convocaba no sólo a protestar contra la construcción de la carretera, sino también a guardar un minuto de silencio por los “muertos” y “desaparecidos” entre los indígenas a causa de la represión del gobierno del presidente Evo Morales.

Desprestigian a Bolivia y a Evo

Al día siguiente decidimos con mi esposa dar una vuelta por el lugar y el espectáculo que vimos fue lamentable.

Aproximadamente, 16 personas, bastante distanciadas unas de otras, caminaban formando un círculo de unos doce metros de diámetro, desde cuyo centro un hombre con un megáfono difamaba al presidente boliviano Evo Morales.

Completaba la escena del entierro del Tipnis, o de los muertos del Tipnis, la mismísima muerte, vestida de verde y blanco con un letrero

que decía Evo asesino.

Le creen ciegamente a la desinformación, pensé, porque quizá no sabían que no hubo un solo disparo en la disolución de la marcha y mucho

menos muertos.

La problemática del Tipnis parecía pasar desapercibida por los manifestantes, más concentrados en insultar al presidente Morales de narcotraficante por querer construir lo que llamaron “la carretera de la cocaína”.

También de dictador, supuestamente por destruir la democracia al tener “presos políticos”, sin mencionar los delitos comunes por los que sus

líderes están imputados en Bolivia, sus crímenes económicos contra el Estado boliviano, los cargos de terrorismo y alzamiento armado por los

cuales gran parte de la vieja élite cruceña se convirtió en refugiada antes que en prófuga de la justicia.

Pidieron la invasión a Bolivia

Pedían además la invasión a Bolivia con carteles y fotos incluidas que decían ‘Mubarak, Gadafi y el siguiente es Morales’ ¡No más dictadores!’. A través de esa violencia, exigían democracia en Bolivia acusando a la OEA y a las Naciones Unidas de vendidos al gobierno de

Morales por no haber atendido sus quejas, obviamente infundadas.

Como último recurso, protestaban ante la Casa Blanca en un intento de apuntalar, a nombre del pueblo boliviano, la presión intervencionista que realiza contra la administración Obama la extrema derecha republicana.

“Estos no representan ni remotamente a Bolivia”, comenté al ver caras conocidas entre los manifestantes. “Tampoco a la comunidad boliviana en Virginia”, añadió mi esposa Elena Abolnik.

Reducido grupo

El grupo de participantes se reducía a los opositores políticos de Evo Morales y a los cruceños que se aglutinaban en torno al disuelto Comité pro Santa Cruz de Virginia, y ahora al carnaval cruceño y el Día de la Tradición.

Curiosamente ni los cruceños allí presentes eran una justa representación de Santa Cruz, mucho menos del pueblo boliviano. Elena y yo lo sabíamos, a ciencia cierta, porque siendo ambos cruceños y miembros de organizaciones pro Bolivia conocíamos también a otros cruceños y bolivianos que entienden claramente el valor del proceso de cambio en nuestro país.

A Elena se le ocurrió pensar que quizá ellos no sabían, a excepción de los organizadores, lo que hacían al desprestigiar de ese modo a Bolivia. Puede ser, le respondí, pero nos retiramos comentando que lo expresado en la protesta seguía la línea del discurso de la oposición boliviana cuando viene a Washington a pedir intervención en Bolivia, apoyada en el interés común que tiene en hacerlo su similar republicana.

Lo mismo dijeron en el Capitolio el 17 de noviembre de 2010, ante la cúpula republicana, Luis Nuñez, hablando en nombre de los cruceños, y Víctor Hugo Velasco, en nombre de los indígenas.

Dos representaciones apócrifas que reflejaban la nueva alianza política de la oposición a Morales para fingir alguna conexión entre la ideología conservadora de extrema derecha y los indígenas ahora convertidos en influyente electorado.

Sin embargo, la protesta no estaba ahí por casualidad. Era representativa de algo y lo que logré admitir que reflejaba era la inconsistencia de la causa opositora en Bolivia, unos pocos hablando barbaridades en nombre del pueblo boliviano. Gritando, mejor dicho insultando ante la frustración de quedarse cada vez más aislados en su fundamentalismo político-religioso, ante una mayoría abrumadora de bolivianos que entiende perfectamente la justicia del proceso de cambio.

Quizá les convendría reflexionar sobre las consecuencias que tuvieron para el país similares actitudes en el pasado. La oligarquía minera, que pedía intervención contra Busch y Villarroel, hizo posible el saqueo del estaño y las masacres de mineros. Los pedidos de intervencionismo contra Torres ocasionaron la dictadura de Banzer y la muerte de muchos bolivianos. Las quejas contra Lidia Gueiler produjeron el sangriento narco-Estado de Luis García Meza, y aquellas contra Hernán Siles Suazo produjeron el neoliberalismo que en dos décadas entregó el país a las transnacionales hasta dejarlo en

despojos.

Imagen boliviana dañada

También les convendría hacer un acto de contrición con respecto al daño que se le está haciendo a la imagen de la comunidad Boliviana en Washington DC., de parte de los políticos de oposición que desde su llegada a Estados Unidos han logrado la adhesión de algunas personas, las cuales parapetadas detrás de organizaciones con fines culturales los han inundado con propaganda política en forma constante y sistemática, propagando la desinformación que generan desde Bolivia.

Muy frecuentemente, nuestros actos tienen efectos impensados, de los cuales somos por siempre responsables, aunque por algún tiempo no podamos entenderlo claramente. Todos tenemos derecho a disentir y a expresarnos, pero es extremadamente peligroso promover la intervención político-militar a la tierra que nos vio nacer.

Romero: Contraloría no observó contrato de la vía

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SANTA CRUZ

ABI

El Ministro de la Presidencia, Carlos Romero, informó ayer que el segundo informe de la Contraloría sobre el contrato de construcción de la carretera entre Villa Tunari y San Ignacio de Moxos, suscrito por el Gobierno y la empresa brasileña OAS, no tiene observaciones.

“Entregamos a los medios de comunicación este segundo informe de la Contraloría del Estado para despejar dudas sobre el contrato para la construcción de la carretera”, aclaró.

En relación al diálogo con la dirigencia de la Asamblea del Pueblo Guaraní (APG), Romero afirmó que las reuniones fueron solicitadas por su principal dirigente, Celso Padilla, con lo que desmintió que se haya producido una división en ese sector.

El ministro Romero también se refirió a la hospitalización del dirigente de la APG en la clínica Incor de esta ciudad.

“Sobre los sucesos que impulsaron la internación del señor Padilla, primero tenemos que conocer un informe médico, porque estaba en un hotel de Rurrenabaque y se internó un día antes de la reunión Gobierno-APG”, dijo.

A su vez, la Federación Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Santa Cruz (FUTCSCZ) pidió el lunes a los indígenas marchistas reflexionar sobre la importancia de la carretera que unirá a Villa Tunari y San Ignacio de Moxos y cumplir con los compromisos del Pacto de Unidad.

El máximo dirigente de la FUTCSCZ, José Luis Chungara, manifestó que “la pelea no es contra de los hermanos indígenas, es contra los derechistas que en este momento quieren aprovecharse de un movimiento”.

“Agregó que es necesario “articular el bloque de oriente y del occidente entre los campesinos y los hermanos indígenas para impedir ser utilizados por los grupos de derecha”.

“Los que antes agredían a los campesinos e indígenas, hoy pretenden acercarse y mostrarse como sus salvadores”, enfatizó.

EL DATO

Ministro de la Presidencia entregó a los medios de comunicación ayer en Santa Cruz una copia del informe de la Contraloría sobre el contrato para la construcción de la carretera San Ignacio de Moxos-Villa Tunari. La oposición, entre ellos el líder del MSM, Juan Del Granado, denunció supuestas irregularidades del contrato con la constructora brasileña OAS.

División: el ministro de la Presidencia, Carlos Romero, negó que en el interior de la Asamblea del Pueblo Guaraní exista división, como se especuló.

Unidad: el dirigente de la Federación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Santa Cruz, José Luis Chungara, pidió el lunes a los dirigentes de la Confederación de Indígenas del Oriente Boliviano (Cidob) que respeten el Pacto de Unidad.

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http://www.cambio.bo/noticia.php?fecha=2011-10-05&idn=55849

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