Blog of Mass Distraction

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Straining Relations

The blockades in Bolivia have ended as Carlos Mesa agreed to raise taxes on exported natural gas. Rather than the 18% he initially proposed, or the 50% demanded by the populace, the tax will instead be set at 32%.1 Bolivia's energy minister has called the increased tax 'economic suicide'. With news of the tax change the opposition leader Evo Morales asked his supporters to end the blockades. President Mesa, who had his offer of resignation refused by government, has called for early elections which would effectively end his term in office.

US President George Bush has nominated Paul Wolfowitz as the next president of the World Bank. Other names that were bouncing around for the position were ousted HP CEO Carly Fiorina, and U2 lead man Bono. Many international stakeholders in the decision are upset by Bush's choice since Wolfowitz has virtually no experience in development or finance. This is seen as a signal to the rest of the world that the Bush administration still cares nothing for what the rest of the world thinks and will do whatever it wants. This move was even more controversial than the recent appointment of John Bolton as the new US ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton being a harsh critic of the UN and a strong advocate of US global hegemony. Wolfowitz is currently the Deputy Secretary of Defense and a staunch supporter of the push for a US invasion of Iraq. He's widely expected to bring his neo-conservative agenda to his position in the international development organization. Let's just hope he uses more than spit to maintain stability in the developing countries.2

1. Mesa has given enough leeway for Morales to call off the blockade.
2. Wolfowitz was seen using saliva to style his hair at the beginning of the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.


  • i love how u hafta footnote stuff for us ignorant readers.

    By Blogger Sameer, at 1:11 AM  

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