While Europe sinks into immobility and the USA is pent within the Iraqi dead end, interesting changes are taking place in Latin America. In Bolivia, a native American is -for the first time- President of the country. In Ecuador the new President banished the delegate of the World Bank and closed the American military base –except if the White House gives permission for an Ecuadorian military base in USA Florida!! In Venezuela Hugo Chavez nationalized the multinational oil corporations while in his public speech uses phrases of Alexandros Panagoulis. A series of countries reject the American dependence and are united in order to find a different way of development.
Reportage Without Frontiers presents these changes within two documentaries, after a big research in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Amazon. The two documentaries of RWF will be presented within a Thematic Evening for Latin America, with guest the native Bolivian President Evo Morales.
EPISODE 1: BOLIVIA: THE RETURN OF THE INDIANS
ET1 – 22:00
Bolivia, which is the poorest country of Latin America, was used for more than 20 years as a guinea-pig for Washington. Under the encouragement and pressure of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund everything was privatized, including things such as public water. The poor Bolivians explained in front of the camera that because they din’t have any money to pay the water bills they lost their homes.
From the beginning of the 21st century there will be massive demonstrations that will end in 2005 with the election of Evo Morales, the first President of Latin America that belongs to the native majority. The new President, who himself was a farmer and a coca cultivator, will annul the contracts with multinational corporations that exploit the rich gas deposits of the country. He will also dispense the land to poor farmers and will appear to the general US meeting holding a coca leaf.
Washington, which has declared war against “narcoterrorism”, is ultimately against the policies of the new President. A President who also has to face the reactions of the rich Bolivian elite that does not want to lose its privileges.
RWF witnessed the touching programs against illiteracy, started by President Morales. We met the President himself in the presidential palace, his unionist brother in their home place and their older sister in a park in La Paz. Her home is so humble that she felt ashamed to use it for the interview...
EPISODE 2: LATIN AMERICA: THE NIXON’S PROPHECY
ET1 – 24:00
After his recent referendum failure for a change of Venezuela’s Constitution, Hugo Chavez used a phrase of Alexandros Panagoulis in order to stress the fact that he is going to continue his political agenda. Reportage Without Frontiers presents the relevant video, which is part of a series of impressive images and filming in Latin America.
In Amazon, Texaco, the American oil company, used the jungle as a disposal centre, that is, dumped the waste from the oil extraction. The native people that live in the area talk about a cancer epidemic that appeared, which was responsible for the disappearance of six native tribes. At the Quito (Ecuador’s capital) barrios, people talk about an abjection, after the abolition of the national currency, which was replaced by the American dollar. In Venezuela, in the equivalent poor neighborhoods of Caracas, the patients in the new public hospitals admit that they met a doctor for the first time in their lives.
The overthrow of the socialist President of Chile Salvador Allende in 1973 was the beginning of transforming the whole of Latin America into a US colony. Nevertheless, today in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Nicaragua –where the Sandinistas regained power- the new socialist Presidents challenge the new liberal model and try to find alternatives. The American President Richard Nixon had justified the Chile military coup with the theory of the “red sandwich”, which would squeeze the USA between Chile and Cuba. Although such a danger never existed the new changes in Latin America are testing the north-American hegemony.
The program of Thematic Evening includes also:
11:30 – 12:00 pm, ET1 : Exclusive interview with Bolivian President Evo Morales.
VENEZUELA, HISTORY'S FIRST TELEVISED COUP (Re)
ET1 – 1:00
“Fortunately we had a powerful weapon”, stated rear admiral Hector Ramirez Perez, leader of the coup that managed to overthrow Venezuela’s elected president Hugo Chavez for two days. “As you saw, the army and the special forces didn’t even have to fire one shot. Our great weapon was the media”.
Reportage Without Frontiers takes a thorough look into a unique moment in universal television history, and presents a special report on TV, fake images and propaganda, on the occasion of its 10th birthday.
On April 11 2002 president Chavez’s supporters, as well as the opposition organized rallies and demonstrations. More than 20 people were killed and hundreds were injured: they belonged to both sides and were the victims of policemen and snipers – part of a secret plan to overthrow the president of Venezuela.
Caracas is dominated by chaos and Venezuelans open their TV sets to find out what happened. But the four private channels that belong to the opposition attribute the bloodshed to the Chavistas, by artfully editing that day’s footage. The Venezuelan president is left without a voice, as his opponents take over the state television, which is stopped from broadcasting. The public is turned against Chavez and the army intervenes and arrests the president. The next day, the same falsified images are used by the White House to give the junta international recognition. Chavez will only return to power after his supporters manage to set up an alternative information network and set the state channel back in operation…
The documentary features interviews with rear admiral Carlos Molina who led the effort to overthrow Chavez, director Angel Palacios who discovered the truth by searching into the TV images of that day, as well interviews with journalists and media experts. The documentary was filmed in Venezuela and the USA.