Tuesday, July 05, 2005

NGO Shenanigans - Whats Behind "Bolivia Blog" and Jim Schultz,

While some Bolivians over-hype the impact of certain leftist Non-Governmental Offices (NGO's), there is no doubt that these have contributed to the current mess, directly and indirectly.

Take the case of Jim Schultz, the busybody who runs the deceptively named The Democracy Center and who reports on the crisis from his "Blog From Bolivia" This gringo calls Cochabamba home now.

The Center a/k/a Jim Schultz, describes itself this way:
based in Cochabamba Bolivia and San Francisco California, works globally to advance human rights through a unique combination of investigation and reporting, training citizens in the art of public advocacy, and organizing international citizen campaigns.


He first gained some notoriety in Bolivia through his involvement with the so-called "Water Revolts" in Cochabamba against Bechtel, which he himself recounts here

For a clear-cut example of him "training citizens in the art of public advocacy", check out this article
He basically admits he has been 'educating' Bolivians with leftie anti-US, anti-Market rhetoric.

In addition, a small group of activists has worked diligently for more than a year to educate community leaders, journalists and the public at large about the perils Bolivia faces under the FTAA, and to organize that opposition into a real campaign. The first national organizing workshop, last April, drew more than 200 people – students, campesino farmers, labour leaders, environmentalists, women’s leaders and others. Those people fanned out across the country to spread the word and mobilize support.

Campaigners have already accomplished a good deal more than they expected. The first step, public education, has stained the FTAA with deep public scepticism that is expressed regularly here – in public forums, radio talk shows, private conversations. The second step, to force the Government into formal discussions, is now under way. Their objective is to make participation in the FTAA subject to a referendum.

‘The people understand that the politicians and the business leaders have had a monopoly over the information, the discussions and the decisions about these policies that have a huge affect on our lives,’ says Olivera. ‘What we’re doing now is breaking that monopoly so that the people can understand, debate and decide these issues for themselves.’



This is no more than pimping some of the stupidest leftist ideology out there to a receptive audience. I have often said that Bolivians of all classes do not need foreign interference to raise political hell. But, the level of anti-American rhetoric and hate, is something you did not see in Bolivia, in no way at the level of what you'd see in countries like Panama or Nicaragua with long histories of U.S. interference. Most of the press has been fairly toned down, and that was the usual source of nasty rhetoric for Bolivians. Bottom line is that Jim Schultz and his fellow NGO types in country, have contributed to this hate and to the rhetoric.
It took Bolivia so long to finally reach a point where Democratic succession was the norm and not the exception. How pathetic that some NGO's, especially one with "Democracy" in its name, is contributing to un-democratic results as the overthrow of one democratically elected governments, and one Constitutional one.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Boli-Nica - we got you linked on Publius.

Mora

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say I'm offended by your comment about Bolivians not needing outside interference to create political chaos. This is a very prejudiced and mean spirited comment, never mind the fact that you try to make yourself appear sensitive by including "of all classes".

Boli-Nica said...

, Anonymous said...
I'd just like to say I'm offended by your comment about Bolivians not needing outside interference to create political chaos. This is a very prejudiced and mean spirited comment, never mind the fact that you try to make yourself appear sensitive by including "of all classes".


Dood/Doodete, check your Bolivian History 101, before getting all righteous on me.

Bolivia has a. been geographically isolated - even when it had a coastline and b. at one point had the record for most coups/revolutions in the world. That is a clear symptom of a lot of home-brewn trouble.

We can go way, way back.
During the declining days of Tiahuanaco, their local communities (ayllus) were locked in bitter internicine warfare. After the conquest, Spanish settlers fought between themselves on the streets of Potosi for nearly a century.

After Independence to give just one example, a mob of about 14,000 people in La Paz (out of a population of 50,000), thwarted a coup attempt against mid-19th century tyrant, Belzu - who despite his brutality was a favorite of the poor and dispossesed. In more recent times, strikes by miners and students precipitated the fall of the MNR government in 1964.

The latest protests in the country involved, among others: miners, middle class students, rich Santa Cruz landowners, poor indians, small merchants. --That sure involves a whole lot of people, from all across the board, out in the streets.

I stand by what I said

Anonymous said...

..."This is a very prejudiced and mean spirited comment, never mind the fact that you try to make yourself appear sensitive by including "of all classes"."

Anonymous, read Boli-nica's rants and pseudo-analysis as you would read a parroquial conservative idiot. He's confused too, he says he's a registered democrat. Honestly, I have not seen anyone on these blogs be so ignorant while professing a spec of knowledge like this guy does. He's actually hilarious, he's like child trying to play with his dad's gun while missfiring it. This guy is funny, I can't stop laughing at the crap he writes, it's like watching an accident on the freeway. Read his other posts, they are just pure comedy, real good entertainment. He reminds me of the mindless soccer fans who paint their faces because their lizard brains can't have another way of expressing their animal instincts...

Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

Way to go, Boli-Nica. Don't mind these guys. They sit comfortably in the developed world, just ranting about Bush, capitalism and corporations all day long, without even knowing why.

Your work is outstanding and much needed to unmask that guy Jim Shultz.

Way to go!

Anonymous said...

"stupidest ...ideologies," eh? - duh, i think YOU're stupider, if you think that playing with the big boys under FTAA rules, which favor the big boys, is smart for a developing country without the chips to take any chances!

"free market" is an oxymoron in the 21st century!

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