“U.S. Reaps What It Sows in Bolivia”

A COHA Op-Ed co-authored by Director Larry Birns and Research Fellow Jessica Bryant was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on September 22, 2008. The article argues that the recent diplomatic crisis among the U.S., Bolivia and Venezuela, directly springs from the Bush administration’s Iraq-driven neglect of the region. It concludes by urging the U.S. president to reject the catch-up strategy now being favored by the White House and seek a relationship of equality and mutual respect in order to bond with the now more autonomous Latin American nations. This should be followed up by reengaging with the hemisphere, politically, economically, and culturally, on its terms as much as our own.

U.S. Reaps What It Sows in Bolivia – San Diego Union-Tribune

2 thoughts on ““U.S. Reaps What It Sows in Bolivia”

  • September 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm
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    Historically, only when the US perceives it has interests at stake in Latin America, are diplomatic courtesies observed. At all other times, Latin American domestic politics are largely ignored. Because in 2008 Bolivia is viewed as being of little importance to the US, Pres Morales is “easily” ignored. Of course, the US should re-engage with Bolivia and the region in general, but I find little cause for optimism.

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  • September 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm
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    While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed in this article, I want to challenge the statements in your introductory paragraph “the recent diplomatic crisis among the U.S., Bolivia and Venezuela, directly springs from the Bush administration’s Iraq-driven neglect of the region.” This statement is an admission of US hegemony in this region. It assumes that without US involvement, Bolivia was bound to go down this road.

    Sovereignty means that a state will take its own course toward development, based on ITS needs, not through the interference of foreign powers in its development. I think persons in the developed world continue to make the mistake that without their influence developing nations cannot survive. This is a false assertion that continues to underlie all that is considered in the context of development.

    Let us release this paradigm, and begin to act out this new shift, both in writing, and in policy.

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