This should raise some eyebrows. Back in 2006 when the Neoliberal polices (Chicago School Economics) seemed to be taking the world by storm before the pretty theories collapsed like a shack in a hurricane, the U.S. Embassy was not seeing those policies in a positive light. In fact, the embassy says the policies are counterproductive and the nation of Ecuador is moving in the opposite direction.

I find it astonishing how little coverage of the Wikileaks publication of these diplomatic cables there is in the United States. These are front page headlines in nations all over the world often having dramatic political implications like the anti-corruption movement (Anna Hazare) in India. How controlled is American media? What aren’t we seeing in this nation?

James Pilant

Neoliberal policies “which have fed the
growing political disaffection of Bolivia‘s majority poor, have helped fuel the
country’s rolling ‘social revolution.'”

This was how a May 6, 2006, US embassy cable from La Paz recently released by
WikiLeaks viewed the powerful wave of struggle that led to the election of
Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005.

This secret assessment came despite Washington publicly trumpeting neoliberal
policies as the way to solve the problems of Latin America’s poor.

In 1985, under the advise of US economist Jeffrey Sachs, the Victor Paz
Estenssoro government opened up Bolivia’s economy to foreign transnationals.

A number of state-owned companies were privatised, including the crucial
mining sector. Restrictions on foreign capital were removed and labour security
undermined.

The US embassy admitted in its cable: “Notwithstanding the promises of
politicians … poverty was largely impervious to the liberal reforms of the
late 80s and 90s.”

It noted the percentage of Bolivians living below the poverty line remained
“virtually unchanged (over 60%) … and even increased during the economic crisis
of 1999-2003”.

At the same time, neoliberal reforms “clearly failed to meet public
expectations for increased incomes and jobs”.

“In fact, reforms had a palpably negative effect on jobs in the short term,
immediately causing a 17 percent drop in public sector employment and triggering
the dismissal of thousands of public sector miners when resource draining
state-owned mining enterprises were shut down.”

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