"PARTLY CLOUDY: Bolivians will vote amid strikes, fear, uncertainty and doubt. Citizens interviewed in the street are concerned about the future. OAS and Mercosur anxious about outcome. Reyes Villa declares himself the third way. The world marvels at China." Further down: "Legal uncertainty frightens away foreign investors." La Razón (Santa Cruz) today with a classic David "Fear and Uncertainty Abound" Sasaki Memorial FUD-themed online edition. Click to zoom.
Free markets were supposed to lead to free societies. Instead, today’s supercharged global economy is eroding the power of the people in democracies around the globe. Welcome to a world where the bottom line trumps the common good and government takes a back seat to big business. –Robert Reich, “How Capitalism is Killing Democracy,” Foreign Policy, Sept.-Oct. 2007
Llama alcalde de Santa Cruz a militares a derrocar al presidente Evo Morales: “Santa Cruz mayor calls on Bolivian military to overthrow Morales.”
La Jornada (Mexico) reports on the claim that your taxpayer dollars are funding “antidemocratic” elements in a bid to disrupt the recall referendum on the mandates of federal and provincial executives in Bolivia this week.
The Wall Street Journal‘s John Lyon, meanwhile, is calling those same elements “pro-business.”
… the vote isn’t likely to break Bolivia’s political stalemate, which pits Mr. Morales’s vision of remaking the country along socialist lines and focusing resources on the indigenous majority against a pro-business opposition in several farming and gas-rich regions
The BBC Brasil editorializes to the exact same effect today, using almost exactly the same words: The vote is unlikely to break the political stalemate — even if Morales makes good on his boast that he will receive 70%-75% of the vote.
I always find this claim fascinating: the notion that if you are opposed to a left-leaning or leftist candidate, you are automatically “pro-business” and “pro-free market.”
History does not really bear this analysis out.
The 1964-1985 military dictatorship in Brazil, for example, seems to have left extreme cartelization of various industries and a bent for central planning as its principal economic legacy. (And Third World poverty and illiteracy levels.)
The Globo network, for example — although it regularly claims its market dominance is the fruit of its relentless pursuit of the Globo Standard of Quality (which is just laughable, if you actually watch it, and its journalism programming especially) — gobbled up something like 75% of the advertising market here by sucking up to the generalissimos in various nauseating ways.
This was a “pro-business” development only if your business was being a member of the inbred Brazilian Medici clan that still controls Globo. It can hardly be said to have been good for the “free market” the citizen-consumer, and the entrepreneurial spirit in general.
Not unless you believe in the proposition that what is good for Globo is good for Brazil. You meet a lot of people down here who will actually tell you that Bob Reich has it the wrong way around: It’s democracy that’s bad for capitalism! Just look at Singapore, Dubai and, yes, even China! But see
Lyon’s “reporting” on the (mind-blowingly fraudulent) 2006 Mexican elections was very much in the same Manichean vein, I recall: Calderón was the “pro-business” candidate. (His brother-in-law’s company was hired by the federal election authority to count the votes, without competitive bidding.) I remember listening to the W$J’s man in Mexico City on NPR at the time. The W$J’s Latin America desk gabbles and should be ignored, I have come to think.
La Paz, 8 de agosto. El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Bolivia, David Choquehuanca, denunció ante los embajadores acreditados en el país que grupos antidemocráticos realizan acciones violentas con la intención de sabotear y empañar el referendo autonómico del próximo domingo.
Bolivian foreign relations minister Choquehuanca informed the foreign diplomatic community that antidemocratic groups are carrying out acts of violence with the intention of sabotaging and undermining the referendum on Sunday.
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