NPR's constant erasure of the US role in the history of Latin America comes in very handy as they offer a completely one-sided report on the expulsion from Bolivia of US Ambassador Philip Goldberg. The report is not really a report, but a transcription of Golberg's claims against Bolivian President Evo Morales (with back-up provided by the aptly named Michael Shifter who worked for that favorite spawn of Reagan, the National Endowment for Democracy).
Kelemen (taking the side of the US State Department) says:
"Goldberg called it a roller coaster ride, saying President Morales often used the US and the US embassy as a foil, a distraction from the problems inside Bolivia....he says the Bolivian government aired what he called a propaganda infomercial about him on TV."Goldberg then follows:
"It was a vile piece of propaganda, accusing the United States, accusing opposition members, too of taking instructions from the US, making links with people I never met. It really is a sad display."It's a vile piece of propaganda only if you are completely ignorant or completely dishonest about what the US has been up to in South America for well over a hundred years. Jim Shultz of the Democracy Center of Bolivia, in an excellent post on the crisis in Bolivia points out:
"The U.S. has a long history of intervention in Latin America, and Bolivia has not been spared. For nearly two decades Bolivian governments been pressured by Washington to wage a "War on Drugs" in Bolivia, with serious collateral damage to human rights."And of Goldberg, Shultz notes
"Goldberg himself, who took over as Ambassador shortly after Morales' 2006 inauguration, has proved to be an inept diplomat over and over again. In June 2007 the military attaché at the Embassy in La Paz, a U.S. Army Colonel, decided to have a relative carry down 500 rounds of 45-caliber ammunition packed in her suitcase. The event spiked Bolivian fears of U.S. intervention and Goldberg made the public uproar even worse by going against the advice of senior aides, trying to downplay the incident as a minor mistake.You won't hear that on NPR!
Last February, a young U.S. Fulbright Scholar revealed to ABC News that an Embassy official had asked him to gather intelligence on Cubans and Venezuelans in Bolivia. It also turned out that the Embassy was systematically asking U.S. Peace Corps volunteers to do the same – a direct violation of the laws governing both programs. Again Goldberg tried to downplay the incident as an innocent error. The Morales administration threatened to prosecute the official involved and he left the country."
For a rather biting take on Bolivia and the US role in destabilizing that country BoRev.net is always provocative. Or you can cozy up with the US Government (the same one that had nothing to do with the Pinochet Coup of 9/11/73) side of the story by tuning into NPR or reading the Washington Post.
Of course, no NPR story on South America would be complete without a BushCo. approved swipe at Venezuela's elected President, Hugo Chavez. Kelemen trots out Michale Shifter to end the piece, including this:
"Chavez seems to have in this moment got a bit feisty. The challenge for the US is how to sort of deal with this situation in a sort of step by step calm quiet approach which is not always easy."Ah yes the feisty natives, and the need to walk softly - seems like I've heard that sentiment somewhere before...hmmm.