Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Morales Claims Assassination Attempt By United States

Bolivia's Evo Morales claimed on Tuesday that the United States has been organizing teams to carry out an assassination attempt against him. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez first brought the issue to attention in a statement last week in which he said Venezuelan intelligence had discovered evidence of an attempt on Morales' life. "I've been informed recently how the U.S. had organized teams - groups to persecute Evo Morales, to kill Evo Morales. They haven't been able to and now we're organized, from unions to this political party and they can't stop us anymore," said Morales.

Murdering and deposing democratically elected Latin American leaders is nothing alien to American policy in the region. In 1973, the United States government sponsored the assassinations of Chilean General René Schneider and Chile's socialist President Salvador Allende. During the 1980's in Nicaragua, after the Sandinistas toppled the Somoza regime, Ronald Reagan illegally funneled money to a group that murdered several members of the government and thousands of civilians.

What prompted both of these anti-democratic terror campaigns? It was the American reaction to socialist economics in Latin America. In the case of Allende, the mining industry had been nationalized to the detriment of several United States corporations. Under the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the government redistributed land and nationalized natural resources. Today in Bolivia one sees a similar situation; Evo Morales announced on May 1st that he would be nationalizing Bolivia's hydrocarbon (natural gas) sector. American and European companies threatened to sue Bolivia and George W. Bush called his actions "anti-democratic". It's only logical to assume that the Bush Administration, with it's reverence for Reaganite foreign policy, will emulate past American policy by making attempts on the life of Morales and the stability of Bolivia's government. "These historical enemies, that privatized our natural resources, especially petroleum, are conspiring, not against Evo Morales but against the changes that we've started," Morales told reporters.