Friday, January 21, 2005


This is not good.

Bolivia may be beginning to fall apart. The wealthiest province in the state, and accordingly the most European and conservative is demanding independence from La Paz. On the other hand, you have the poor protesting because of a Bechtel water contract that would force them to pay high rates for water and make collecting rain water a crime. Originally these two groups allied themselves in protest but now that the president has sided with the poor against Bechtel and has lowered the cost of fuel, the wealthy of Santa Cruz province have announced plans to create a separatist government.

What will the US policy be on this? My own belief is that W and the boys will side with the wealthy of Santa Cruz because a)they clearly identify with wealthy conservatives and b) it seems likely that the push from the right to secede may send the president left. Perhaps he becomes very conciliatory, but threatening to secede is a good reason to tell the rich to go to hell. Plus it's likely President Carlos Mesa will have allies in Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Cuba and other important Latin American nations.

In any case, check out the story yourself.