Last June 28th, the 20 year old U.S. citizen Donna Thi, from Miami, wasdetained at the airport in La Paz, for trying to bring in five hundred45-caliber bullets which she’d declared as “cheese” to customs. Waitingfor her in the terminal was the wife of Colonel James Campbell, thehead of the military section at the U.S. embassy in Bolivia.
The North American Ambassador, Philip Goldberg, intervened immediatelyto obtain the woman’s release and said that it was all “an innocentmistake.” The ammunition, he said, was meant for “sport andentertainment.”
Bolivia’s Director of Migration, Magaly Zegarra, did not hold the sameopinion as the Ambassador. According to her, “the fact that a NorthAmerican citizen, related to the embassy, is carrying ammunition on aNorth American aircraft coming from Miami, a city where terrorists fromall over Latin America are protected by the government, especiallytheir teacher, as Posada is called by the terrorists, and make amockery of all [justice] mechanisms, is questionable.” These days, immigration agents and Bolivian police are careful with passengers coming from the United States. In March of 2006, another U.S. citizen, Triston Jay Amero, a.k.a. Lestat Claudius, a 25 year old Californian carrying 15 different identity documents, set off 300 kilos of dynamite in two hotels in La Paz. And on December 8th of this year, when the Summit of the South American Community of Nations was held in Cochabamba, security services uncovered the presence of two fake U.S. journalists photographing presidential vehicles.
In the Bolivian diplomatic world, as an expert pusher of separatism, Philip Goldberg’s nickname is “the Ambassador of Ethnic Cleansing.” Between 1994 and 1996 he was Special Assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, one of the strategists behind Yugoslavian disintegration. He also promoted Serbia’s and Montenegro’s separation and was in Kosovo, where he fomented conflict between Serbian and Albanian forces.
One of the autonomy ringleaders [in Bolivia] is the Croatian landowner Branco Marinkovic, a supporter of a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., a member of the Federation of Private Entrepreneurs of Santa Cruz, the Bank, and the Chamber of Commerce. Marinkovic is also a shareholder in the company that controls the transport of natural gas (Transporte de Hidrocarburos Transredes), which is 50% owned by Enron and Shell and operates gas and oil pipelines over 6,000 kilometers that stretch to Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
The actions of the United States, which pulls all the strings of dirty war and destabilization, continue unabated. The situation is further aggravated when Philip Goldberg, a well-known stoker of the fires of separatism and fratricidal warfare, is sent to a country as the U.S. ambassador. The groundwork had already been well prepared by his predecessor, the ex-Ambassador David N. Greenlee, whose history over two periods in Bolivia was hallmarked by interference, impunity and criminal activity.
Goldberg, recognized as an expert in stoking ethnic or racial conflicts and his experience in Bosnia’s ethnic struggles preceding the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, would be key in Bolivia. No-one doubted that his hand was behind the intense separatist process happening in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a propitious setting for his government’s plans, with exacerbated elements of racism and hatred against the indigenous population, and prevalent slavery that formed the basis of dictatorship and neoliberal impositions; finally defeated by the Bolivian people in recent years, through a heroic struggle.
In the past, Goldberg worked in the U.S. State Department, on Haiti, among other countries, as well as South Africa, Colombia and Paraguay. After serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Santiago de Chile between 2001 and 2004, Goldberg went once more to the Balkans to head the Kosovo mission, where he worked until 2006 to break away Serbia and Montenegro.
When he arrived in Bolivia, the Croatian businessmen (his friends) settled in Santa Cruz, had already put together the movement “Nación Camba,” one of whose main leaders - with business ties in Chile and other countries - Branco Marinkovic, ended up leading the local Civic Committee, the foremost promoter of destabilization, with a strong influence throughout the rest of the Media Luna, where the country’s greatest natural resources are concentrated.
The ambassador did not hide his support for the businessmen who sought an unusual governmental autonomy for Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Beni, Pando and Tarija, in the country’s eastern portion. Known as the “media luna,” [for its roughly crescent shape] these four departments total 685,095 square kilometers, more than half of Bolivia’s surface area. The majority of natural gas, agribusiness and ranching is found here, and accounts for half of foreign investment.
Last year, President Morales denounced the conspiracy by the United States and the oligarchy in his country against his government, during the Seventeenth Ibero-American Summit in Santiago de Chile.
He also said that the “most plausible theory about the identity of the promoters of this initiative, leads to industrialists and landowners, acting with the support of various politicians from the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Pando.” The correlation through the meetings of Bolivian putschists and Spain’s Popular Party, in support of a “dirty war” was laid bare. He also denounced the support of fascist Spaniards and other Europeans for the conspiracy, under the obvious leadership of Spain’s ex-president José María Aznar.
There were also serious denunciations supported by concrete data about the participation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), according to data from Bolivia’s intelligence services and other analysts, of the putschist plans. Millions of dollars were allocated to all kinds of organizations, including student groups, journalists, political parties, intellectuals, businessmen and others, with the precise objective of derailing the Constituent Assembly. Shock troops, promoted confrontations, autonomy movements, “civic” strikes, permanent mobilizations in the country’s seven regions, street violence, and others would be used to overthrow the government.
A coup in Bolivia is crucial for George W. Bush’s government, in light of his defeat in Iraq after five years of sowing terror (and more than a million deaths) in that country, and the extremely serious economic situation in the United States during an election year.
The protagonists in the new counter-insurgency who are pushing for an internal confrontation and external intervention are well-covered in the majority of the mass media.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.