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10/13/08

US Peace Corps Mutiny

Abiding in Bolivia has all the details on the Peace Corps Mutiny so go read it on this link, but to give the quickflash outline á la Otto;

1) On Sept 10th Evo Morales kicked out the US ambassador to Bolivia for interfering in domestic affairs. More evidence of his messin' and a meddlin' has recently come to light on that one, too.

2) As part of its foot-stomping fit of pique, the Bush administration pulled out the 113 US Peace Corps workers in Bolivia, ostensibly citing safety concerns.

3) (And this is the doozy): Of the 113 members of the Peace Corps who were pulled out, 70 have quit the service and have gone back to their town and villages in Bolivia to continue their work.

4) As part of its report on the Peace Corps Mutiny, AP proves quite clearly that the US assistant secretary to Latin America, Tom Shannon, is lying through his teeth.

Here's that link again (and you can see the AP report over there, too). It's certainly refreshing to know that the subversive, underhand ways of the US government and its regional diplomats as regards LatAm are not necessarily reflected in its citizens. Peace corps volunteers are people that all US citizens should be proud of, and now they have 70 more reasons to feel doubly proud.

UPDATE:
But hey, don't bother hearing it from me, get the story from the people that really matter. Here's a link to the blog of Sarah Nourse (Otto clever for finding this one, no?) the Peace Corps volunteer that was interviewed by AP. In here latest post she makes it clear that she's back in the States now (for the time being at least) and gives us more background about just what went on from her point of view, including;

"I stand by what I said, and every time I think about the Bolivians we've left behind or the dashed hopes of good-hearted volunteers, I want people to know that there could have been a better outcome. "Tough talk" foreign policy has done us all a disservice. I'd like to reiterate that I believe the primary motivator for our evacuation was safety concerns. But there is no doubt in my mind that there were additional motivators, both political and financial.

Whatever the reasons, the effect is the same. I am very disappointed to leave the Bolivian people without examples of real Americans doing good work just when they're starting to hear more messages about bad we are. It would be so much easier to nip Anti-Americanism in the bud. But you know us....why practice prevention when we can let it fester"

.......which goes to prove that Sarah is articulate and smart as well as being a credit to her country. Now stop reading my junk and go visit her blog.