Vilifying left-leaning Latin American and Caribbean leaders is nothing new from the US media–from Chile’s Salvador Allende to Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to Mauricio Funes of El Salvador. Bolivian President Evo Morales is no exception, as he caught the attention of the website Vox, a new outlet that sets out to “explain the news” with an emphasis on data analysis.
“USAID Develops a Bad Reputation Among Some Foreign Leaders,” read a May 7 Los Angeles Times headline, followed by the subhead: The U.S. Agency for International Development doesn’t just offer aid to the poor, it also promotes democracy, which is seen as meddlesome or even subversive. Fighting poverty and spreading democracy–what’s not to like? And so, the report seems to suggest, there’s something a little off about foreign leaders, nine in recent years, who’ve expelled the agency. Why else would Bolivian President Evo Morales expel an anti-poverty group from his “impoverished” country, if he wasn’t just a little bit crazy? […]
The North American Congress on Latin America has published (NACLA Magazine, 5-6/09) Dan Beeton’s account of how, following Evo Morales’ huge win in the Bolivian presidential referendum of last August, his opponents instigated “riots, economic sabotage and the massacre of more than 20 indigenous”–during which Bolivia threw out the U.S. ambassador for attempted spying and allegedly providing “funding for violent opposition groups.” Yet, Beeton tells us, “save for one Washington Post article, the [subsequent U.S.] Morales visit garnered no full-length reports in major U.S. papers.” This could arguably be a good thing, considering the results of what little attention was […]