Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Bolivia Crisis for Beginners: a primer
The US official message about Americans' safety in Bolivia suggests a real threat. Observe the most recent Department of State Travel Warning:
“The Department of State has authorized the departure of non-emergency personnel and all family members of U.S. Embassy personnel in Bolivia and suggests all U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Bolivia. U.S. citizens currently in Bolivia should remain vigilant, monitor local media, review their security posture on a regular basis, and consider departing if the situation allows.”
¡Por faVOR! U.S. citizens continue living their daily lives in Bolivia. However, American Airlines has once again suspended flights in and out of the country. On top of that, there is an apparent effort to inaccurately characterize the expulsion of US Ambassador Goldberg as part of an overall anti-American initiative on the part of the Morales administration.
With unrest claiming the lives of dozens, the recent upheaval in Bolivia has put this Andean nation on the radar of US public attention. This video, "Bolivia Crisis for Beginners," explains the history and context of the current push for autonomy by four lowland provinces according to Kathryn Ledebur, a premier analyst who has lived in Bolivia for the past 18 years.
Notice: The video, a recording of a talk given this month in Washington D.C., lasts 59 minutes and is "talking head" format. So you'll need to be motivated. But, on the bright side: there are no commercials! (I watched it twice and learned something both times.) If you don't have an hour to invest, I completely understand, you're not a lesser B.E. blogger! I'll keep looking for good sources in print. If you like to learn via video, this one is worthwhile and you can download it to your iPod [here]. Or come back to listen later; it'll be here waiting for you.
How relevant is the Monroe Doctrine to us? (Not mentioned in the video, BTW. So you don't need to see the vid to speak up. Hope to hear from you!)