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|Society & You - Social Critic|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2012 19:17|
This post is part of our special coverage of International Relations and Security [en].
In the last decade, the balance of power has changed in South America. U.S. Hegemony exercised in the second half of the twentieth century in the region has been questioned, mainly by the strong emergence of Brazil, but also by political initiatives led by leftist governments like Bolivia.
Despite its relatively small size, the landlocked country in the heart of South America has led the anti-US since 2006, when President Evo Morales, an indigenous leader and coca grower union leader left, was democratically elected .
Raul Prada Alcoreza, former member of President Morales delpartido describes the diplomatic context in early 2006 in his blog :
During his two consecutive terms in office, Morales has embraced an agenda "anti-colonialist" that directly points to the policies of the U.S.. States. The Bolivian president leads criticism of "Western capitalism" and has improved relations with other governments visibly anti-US. in the region such as Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina.
Bolivia has also prioritized the strengthening of political forums and mechanisms outside the influence of the U.S. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and the recently launched Community of Latin American and Caribbean ( CELAC) are three initiatives that challenge the Organization of American States (OAS), managed by the U.S.
In addition to anti-American agenda, the international focus of Bolivia is defined primarily by three strategic issues: the issue of the coca-cocaine, gas exports to Brazil and Argentina, and access to the Pacific coast, all of which the country has failed to address.
In addition, bilateral relations between Bolivia and Brazil are not as effective as they were when Lula da Silva had the reins of power in Brasilia. A diplomatic impasse [in] remains unresolved between the two governments since Roger Pinto, a former senator and member of the Bolivian opposition, sought asylum at the Brazilian Embassy in La Paz after he was accused of corruption by Bolivian officials. Previously, Pinto had revealed evidence that senior officials from Bolivia negotiated with the drug trafficking organizations. With the disapproval of Bolivia, the Brazilian government granted asylum to Pinto.
The Bolivian Minister of Communications, Amanda Davila, insists that diplomatic relations between the two countries have not been affected , despite a number of other unresolved issues, such as Brazilian interests in the road through the National Park TIPNIS . By contrast, a recent improvement in relations [in] between Bolivia and Iran was criticized by Washington and Brasilia. To strengthen the link between La Paz and Tehran only adds to concerns that the U.S. policies against Bolivia not only jeopardize its relations with Brazil, but also their position in the regional political systems.
This post and its translations into Spanish, Arabic and French have been commissioned by the International Security Network (ISN) as part of an alliance to locate voices of citizens around the world on issues of international relations and security.