Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bolivian Minister Resigns For Evo-Bashing, Agence France-Presse is Biased!!

Bolivia's Finance Minister, Luis Carlos Jemio, was forced to quit, after criticism over some statements he recently made in the United States, about the new Hyrdrocarbons law, and criticizing Evo Morales and Chavez, according to this AFP article, appearing in petroleum The government had previously distanced themselves from his statements, after MAS criticized him for what they say is his failure to 'comply with the new hydrocarbon laws'.

AFP's Sets The Wrong Tone

AFP, or Agence France-Presse the French News Service, seems to have its own self-serving angle in all three stories it wrote about him, worst part is they base his statements on misquotes from AP articles.

Well here is their summary of why the guy is kicked out.

The outgoing minister has been criticized strongly for questioning the oil law, and his statements in the United States against the political leader Evo Morales, whom he accuses of having connections with the Presidents of Venezuela and Cuba.

Who 'Strongly Criticized Him'!!!! It was mostly MAS!!!! What garbage. There was no media storm about this, no protests.

The Spin Starts At The Beginning

This AFP article, is supposed to be about MAS's reaction to the supposed statements. It leads off the article: "Luis Jemio, who said in the United States that the government of provisional president, Eduardo Rodriguez, will not negotiate with the oil companies for the migration to the new hyrdrocarbon laws". The implication is they will do nothing. They then follow up by making the baseless asertion that the State 'will receive an additional 300 million dollars from the petroleum business". Who says?? During What Period?

The other article, does at least give a little balance. Jemio, alleges that his government, would not implement the new Hydro-carbons law, which calls for 'migration' or modification of Bolivia's contracts with foreign oil companies to the new tax regime. The measure takes effect in November, 180 days after it passed Congress. The Minister said that it will be postponed until the new government takes power, at which point the new government would be able to 're-negotiate' the contracts with the companies.

--This is a fairly sensible position, since three multi-nationals have stated that they will ask for international mediation, under investment guarantee treaties that Bolivia has with Spain, England, and France. Right now, the companies have asked for informal negotiations, prior to the litigation. But AFP underplays that in its articles, giving the impression that the Minister is simply there catering to the bad Americans.

On Evo-bashing

The original AP Story reprinted in El Nuevo Herald has this quote, that seems like a much more sensible and diplomatic response than the blanket statements attributed to him:

He admitted that Evo Morales, the leader of the MAS, was behind the pressure, but said he could not confirm versions from the Department of State that the coca grower leader received financing and direcion from the governments of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Fidel Castro in Cuba.

'Venezuela has resources to finance this type of movement' he added.


All he says is that Venezuela can certainly afford to spend the money to back Evo.

Now check out how the France Presse report, skews other quotes from the original article:

According to the New Herald, the Bolivian Minister said thursday that there are three types of foreign intervention in Bolivia, 'a conection between presidents Chavez and Castro, European Non-governmental agencies who see the indigenous movements as instruments of liberation, and narco-traffickers.",

De acuerdo con el New Herald, el ministro boliviano dijo el jueves que hay tres tipos de interferencia extranjera en Bolivia: "una conexion entre Evo Morales con los presidentes Chavez y Castro, de las organizaciones no gubernamentales europeas que ven a los movimientos indigenas como instrumentos de liberacion y los recursos del narcotrafico".

The quotes, which I've placed in bold, supposedly come from the original article, but in reality it attributes direct quotes when in fact it is the reporter paraphrasing the Ministers statements. The source article, states the minister, when speaking about foreign intervention in Bolivia, first qualified his statements by saying something to the effect that"that in Bolivia these days there is talk", which is much different than saying "that there are three types of foreign intervention"

Jemio said that in Bolivia these days there is talk of 'three types of foreign intervention' First a connection of Morales with Presidents Chavez, and Castro, second an intervention of european non-governmental organizations 'that see indigenous movements as liberation movements, and third, the resources of drug trafficking.
Evowas a coca grower, continues leading coca growers, and coca is still what you make cocaine from"

That is true!!!

I am first of all ticked off that the President would fire the guy for saying nothing that is not true. But I do understand the Presidents precarious standing at the moment. MAS of course, will use this, since they are deluded leftists, but shrewd politicians who know how to hit the right buttons.

France Presse on the other hand is weak, their reporters seem to parrot the third world groupie handbook about Evo. But, they also are pretty sloppy with their quotes, which is something bloggers can get away with, but not reporters for a news agency for an Old World Power.