Tuesday, October 7, 2008

God Help Us

The Week: "What Can the U.S. Do About Bolivia"
Um, haven't we done enough?
In the article is a link to an IHT editorial that, while unquestioningly towing the Bush administration's line, gets one thing almost right:

[Suspending Bolivia's trade agreements altogether] would undermine the anti-drug strategy - which seeks to wean poor farmers from the coca trade by opening the American market to other products - and play right into Morales's hands.

I don't see how that would play "into Morales' hands." Sure, he's a cocalero, but contrary to the claims from the east, he's no dumb Indian, and he wants a diversified economy. But, back to the first part of that quote: You want to coca production to go down, you've got to give the farmers another source of income.

1 comment:

Bina said...

Bingo, bingo, and yet again BINGO.

Before Evo was a coca grower, he grew rice and bananas. And before that, he raised llamas. The reason coca is the only cash crop that can really feed indigenous families, of course, is the way coca production has been decimated by the War on Democracy--sorry, Drugs. Since the eradication programs drove the price of coca way up, it's the only cash crop that pays decent cash. Never mind that Bolivia is no longer a cocaine producer of any significance, though; Washington would rather attack the supply end than the demand (i.e., the noses of rich gringos who don't want to give up their party favors.) No, the real problem is rabble-rousing little brown indigenous people, as the CSMonitor recently pointed out.