All Notebook Entries
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 13, 2005 at 9:40 amSundays broadcast of Venezuela President Hugo Chávezs popular weekly TV show, Alo Presidente, brought a strong response by the Venezuelan president to the tantrum thrown last week by US Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Roger Noriega, in which Noriega, bombastically, blamed Chávez for the strife in Bolivia.
In a record-breaking eight hour broadcast, Chávez hit back, saying that US President George W. Bush and his capitalist free-market proposals are to blame for the severe political crisis that plagues Bolivia.
His counter-attack included some rare words in English from the Venezuelan leader:
"No, Mister Bush. No, Sir. Im sorry for you..."
More excerpts from Chávez's fireside chat, plus some interesting words from outgoing Bolivian president Carlos Mesa, at the jump...
- Posted by Mike DAllaire - June 13, 2005 at 7:27 amJust a tidbit of information for Narconews, that you may or may not want to publish, but tidbits ad up to a full bowl after a while. We live in Northern Ontario Canada in a small village of about 1200 population. We have a small municipal dump that recycles, which just received a 12 page memo from Atlantic Corporation demanding that the Manager of this dump install cameras and a security guard to monitor the cardboard that's being recycled. This cardboard goes to Toronto, where it is processed and then sent to the U.S. "Homeland Security" is mentioned more than once in the document. Seven pages of this document are employer/employee profiling questions, ie. nationality and physical description of each employee, blood types, illnesses. BIG BROTHER IS HERE!
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - June 13, 2005 at 1:02 amThe U.S. House of Representatives last week forwarded to several congressional committees a bill (H.R. 2672) known as the North American Cooperative Security Act, legislation that, in the words of its original cosponsors, seeks to establish "a framework for better management, communication, and coordination between the governments" of Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
Among its many provisions is a vague proposal to increase information sharing among the three nations; a slightly more detailed proposal to develop "national" biometric databases to track suspected terrorists, smugglers, and illegal aliens; and the suggestion to identify opportunities "to increase cooperation" in the detection of smuggled nuclear and radioactive materials.
Upon closer inspection of the bill is a segment focusing on a "security" issue that deviates from the usual terrorist/alien/smuggler concerns.
That issue involves oil production.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 12, 2005 at 8:45 pmMemo to Copublishers and Readers: This is to thank each of you who participated, who reported, who commented, who distributed widely, and who responded to my appeal of last week, Help Protect Your Journalists at an Hour of Moral Crisis.
You made possible what happened in Bolivia and on these pages this week. Together we showed what a dedicated network of Authentic Journalists and supporters can do, in tandem with social movements, when we pool our talents, resources, and keypads together.
In case you blinked because it all happened so fast Ive prepared this summary of the action-packed series of breaking news reports from Luis Gómez and our entire team in Bolivia, and the considerable helping hand lent them from diverse points in our América and around the world.
As during previous hours of crisis, the lies got swatted down, the truths were shone bright, new advances were made in how to wage a popular Netwar, and Authentic Journalists drove, in recent days, the coverage of most Commercial Media organizations to be more truthful than ever before when reporting events in Latin America
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 12, 2005 at 7:02 pmOne of our correspondents received a letter from China, from a journalist (and journalism professor) this weekend. It said:
"My God. That stuff coming out of Latin America is nothing short of amazing. I have been distributing the narco-news articles in my American Journalism class and the students are really digging it. The government censors that used to keep narco-news on the other side of the "great wall" have relented and you can now get it on any server in China even without free downloadable software that any highschool student worth his salt has long since installed on his computer. It must be a very exciting time down there. If there is anything I can do to help out down there I would gladly go as making money is no longer very important to me. I am attaching my CV. Send it to your buddies down there. If I can help I will be happy to go..."
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 11, 2005 at 5:11 pmCerca del final de una sesión de dos días en la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) en Fort Lauderdale, Florida, el embajador de los EEUU en el organismo, Roger Noriega, hizo una rabieta.
Y es que a final de cuentas Washington acababa de recibir una reprimenda contundente de los países en la mesa de negociación contra su propuesta de crear mecanismos para que haya una mediación extranjera en los asuntos de otros países (léase Venezuela), y el presidente boliviano Carlos Mesa acababa de presentar su renuncia en la víspera de un movimiento popular masivo para nacionalizar la industria del gas boliviana.
Noriega, poco acostumbrado a perder con dignidad, simplemente perdió la cabeza y recriminó fuertemente que el presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez era el culpable de la crisis en Bolivia.
Noriega tiene razón pero no en el sentido en que lo piensa...
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - June 10, 2005 at 9:10 pmThe Coordinating Committee for the Defense of Water and Gas sends a communiqué from Cochabamba to the people of Bolivia and the international community.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - June 10, 2005 at 5:55 pmThe Bolivian people did it. With one death a terrible cost, but among the best lives-to-change ratios of any mass uprising the powerful Bolivian movements for social justice removed two more would-be presidents, thwarted plots to begin brutal repression and perhaps even U.S. military intervention, and set the stage for their demands to be addressed at last.
Such success doesn't come from luck or two weeks' work. Epitomized by the ERBOL radio network, the Bolivian social movements have constructed a media that reflects the people's needs.
- Posted by Benjamin Melançon - June 10, 2005 at 5:10 pmDuring the 2004 July-August School of Authentic Journalism in Bolivia, the lucky scholars and professors got to meet as a colleague Egberto Winston Chipana Limachi, the director of Radio Soberania (Radio Sovereignty) in the town of Chipriri of the Chapare, the heart of the current coca growers movement. The station reaches 96 percent of the public in the Tropic of Cochabamba, Authentic Journalism scholar Romina Trincheri wrote at the time: "Walking the small earthen paths that connect the homes of the traditional coca growers, we find that the radio is listened to, sometimes in Spanish, and for a good part of the day in Quechua." Quechua is the indiginous language and name of the second-largest ethnicity in Bolivia.
Wearing an "erbol" T-shirt (the back read, in Spanish "if you listen to ERBOL you listen to Bolivia") Egberto Chipana talked to us about his radio station.
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - June 10, 2005 at 2:42 pmBorn in 1956, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé has a long résumé in the field of public administration. Having studied law in Bolivias San Símon University, as well as public administration at Harvard, he has worked as sub-comptroller of Public Services, regional coordinator of the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD in its Spanish initials), advisor for the Bolivian state department, among other posts. According to some sources, Rodríguez Veltzé has connections with the Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada clan, who he served for many yeas as undersecretary to the countrys financial oversight administration. A Member of the Supreme Court since 1999, Rodríguez Veltzé was designated president of the Supreme Court on March 17 2004, in the midst of an institutional crisis.
- Posted by Don Henry Ford Jr. - June 10, 2005 at 11:19 amViolence has erupted in Mexico over that past few days as turf wars continue and druglords assert their authority. In Nuevo Laredo, a new chief of police was sworn in. Nine hours later he lay dead, riddled with bullet holes. This just hours after the new chief announced that border violence is exaggerated (in Spanish).
There are those that question the Mexican governments ability to control the outbreak.
People I know in the area now verify the danger, but to this point all victims are associated with the drug trade in one way or another. Either they are involved in moving drugs or trying to stop them.
Thanks to Molly Molloy for the links.
- Posted by Teofilo Ballve - June 10, 2005 at 10:32 am(Copy of a story I just published on the Web site of the Resource Center of the Americas thanks to, and based on, the valiant reporting of my compañer@s: Luis Gómez, Jean Friedsky and Alex Contreras. It's a rundown of what's happened so far... the swarm continues.)
Bolivias Senate president Hormando Vaca Díez sealed an uncertain, perhaps violent fate for the country by promulgating a widely unpopular hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas) law on May 18. In passing the measure, with the support of Bolivias discredited traditional political parties, he pleaded, Now, all I ask is for unity in the country.
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - June 10, 2005 at 8:01 amNacido en 1956, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé tiene un amplio currículum en la casta de la administración publica. Abogado (UMSS) y masterado en Administración Publica (Harvard), ejerció como subcontrolador de Servicios Públicos, Coordinador regional del Instituto Latinoamericano de las Naciones Unidas para la Prevención del Delito y el Tratamiento del Delincuente (ILANUD) y asesor de la Cancillería, entre otros. Según ciertas fuentes Rodríguez Veltzé estaría vinculado al clan de Gonzalo Sánchez de lo Lozada, a quienes sirvió durante muchos años como subsecretario de la Contraloría General de la Republica. Miembro de la Suprema Corte desde 1999, Rodríguez Veltzé fue designado como presidente de la Suprema Corte el 17 de marzo de 2004, a raíz de una crisis institucional.
- Posted by Jean Friedsky - June 10, 2005 at 12:19 amBolivia has a new President. This news comes at the end of a day in which the nation seemed to be heading towards extreme crisis. Under duress from social movements who declared that under no conditions would they accept the Presidency of Senate President Hormando Vaca Diez (first in line after Mesa), Congress had been unable to convene today, dismissed itself at 6pm and declared an cuarto intermedio (break) of indeterminate length. The people of Bolivia were enflamed by their government's continuing inefficacy and it was at approximately 9pm, as movement leaders were coming across the airwaves to talk about the mass mobilizations of tomorrow, that Vaca Diez finally gave in and announced that he would agree to resign. At 10:50pm, Congress convened in Sucre, the city to which the politicians had fled to escape the pressure of La Paz. Within minutes, Parliament approved Carlos Mesa's resignation and Vaca Diez and the number two in line, Mario Cossio, both renounced their position as the new executive cheif. At 11:47pm, Eduardo Rodriguez, President of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the new President of Bolivia.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 10:51 pmKind readers, the battle of many armies and one death has reached its end. In these moments, several deputies are in the headquarters of the Supreme Court to invite the new constitutional president, as Hormando Vaca Diez called him, to assume command of the executive.
The new president is Dr. Eduardo Rodríguez, head of the court, a man with grey hair and glasses, connected to the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) But some social movements, like those in El Alto, havent let themselves be demobilized so easily. As long as the issue of hydrocarbon nationalization has not been touched upon, as Edgar Patana of the Bolivian Workers Federation said, the demonstrations and blockades will continue.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 10:17 pmQueridos lectores, la batalla llena de frentes y con un muerto tuvo ya su final. En estos minutos varios diputados se encuentran en la sede de la Corte Suprema de Justicia para invitar al "nuevo presidente constitucional", como lo llamó el propio Hormando Vaca Diez, a asumir el mando del Poder Ejecutivo.
Se trata del Dr. Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzñe, titular de la corte y un hombre de cabello entrecano, de anteojos y relacionado con el Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario... de todos modos, algunos movimientos sociales, como los de El Alto, no se han dejado desmovilizar tan fácilmente: mientras no se toque el "tema de la nacionalización de los hidrocarburos", como dijo Edgar Patana de la Central Obrera Boliviana, siguen las manifestaciones y los bloqueos.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 9:25 pmWe havent stopped in Bolivia, and its now past 9:00 at night. A half hour ago Senator Vaca Diez left the Sucre Battalion military installation, where he had taken refuge since suspending the session of Congress scheduled for today. He came it the center of the Bolivian capital to give a press conference, at which he renounced his right to presidential succession, but also blamed Carlos Mesa and Evo Morales for everything that had happened to him and asked them for certain guarantees in order to begin the session.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 8:31 pmEn Bolivia no paramos, y ya son más de las 9 de la noche. Hace media hora el senador Hormando Vaca Diez dejó el Batallón Sucre, donde se refugiaba desde que suspendió la sesión de Congreso Nacional prevista para hoy: llegó hasta el centro de la capital boliviana para dar una conferencia en la que renunció a su derecho a la sucesión presidencial, pero también para acusar a Carlos Mesa y a Evo Morales de todo lo que pasa y pedirles garantías para instalar dicha sesión.
Evo le respondió casi de inmediato. Y le pidió que renuncie sin más a su derecho a suceder a Mesa en la Presidencia y que instale el Congreso... seguimos dando noticias desde acá.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 5:04 pmWe said so a few hours ago: that the Congressional session in Sucre to consider President Carlos Mesas resignation was not going to happen. A few minutes ago, Senator Hormando Vaca Diez, president of the Congress, suspended all legislative work, without any date or time given to resume it, faced with the situation in the Bolivian capital.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 4:50 pmLo dijimos hace horas: no iba a realizarse la sesión de Congreso Nacional en Sucre para considerar la renuncia del todavía Presidente Carlos Mesa. Hace unos minutos el senador Hormando Vaca Diez, presidente del Congreso ha suspendido sin fecha ni hora todo trabajo legislativo ante la situación en la capital de Bolivia.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 4:24 pmAfter consulting with various sources, we can report, kind readers: The President of the National Congress Hormando Vaca Diez is behind the death of the mineworker Juan Coro and the three wounded who are at this moment at Santa Barbara Hospital in Sucre.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 4:08 pmLuego de consultar varias fuentes, podemos decirles una cosa clara, queridos lectores: el Presidente del Congreso Nacional Hormando Vaca Diez está detrás de la muerte del cooperativista minero Juan Coro y los tres heridos que se encuentran en estos momentos en el Hospital Santa Bárbara de Sucre.
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 3:31 pmBreaking news: First, we have learned that former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozadas son-in-law, political operator Mauricio Balcázar, arrived this morning in Sucre to support Senator Hormando Vaca Diez in his presidential aspirations. (Evo Morales denounced this in a press conference this morning from Sucre, the official Bolivian capital).
A half hour ago, the national director of conflict resolution from Carlos Mesa s government, Gregorio Lanza, confirmed on Radio Erbol that Balcázar traveled to Sucre on the same plane as Vaca Diez. Flying from Santa Cruz (a one-hour trip), Balcázar and Vaca Diez held a cordial conversation, according to the Mesa administration official.
But theres more
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 2:49 pmNuevas noticias: primero se supo que el yerno de Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, el operador político Mauricio Balcázar, ha llegado esta mañana a Sucre para apoyar al senador Hormando Vaca Diez en su intentona de ser presidente (una denuncia ya hecha por Evo Morales en una conferencia matutina desde la capital de Bolivia).
Hace media hora, el Director Nacional de Prevención de Conflictos del gobierno de Carlos Mesa, Gregorio Lanza, ha confirmado en Radio Erbol que Balcázar fue a Sucre en el mismo avión que Vaca Diez. Volando desde Santa Cruz (una hora, aproximadamente), Balcázar y Vaca Diez mantuvieron una cordial conversación. Siempre de acuerdo al funcionario de Mesa.
Pero hay más...
- Posted by Luis Gomez - June 9, 2005 at 2:34 pmAt this point in the day, the Bolivian state reminds me of the city where I was born: on September 19, 1985, Mexico City awoke to an enormous jolt. It was 7:19 am. A reporter was on his way to work on the citys main avenue, and was able to report on the visual effect of the earthquake, which lasted 43 endless seconds. When it all seemed to have passed, the reporter saw an enormous building fall just a few meters away, so fast that all one could hear was a sob from his microphone, then one horrified phrase: It fell as if it were made of cardboard. Then he kept crying.
In the same way, the government in this country seems like a city shaken by an earthquake and the Bolivian political class seems, to this reporter, frightened and incapable of doing anything to stop this phenomenon that surges from below, from the heart of the earth