Showing posts with label South America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South America. Show all posts

August 29, 2019

If You Are Straight be Careful!: The Cochabamba Conference About Climate Change Found Eating Chicken Turns Men Gay


"I must say before I came out I used to eat a lot of chicken but still, I know that did not do it for me because I was never a chicken hawk. If they threw themselves on me, then what is a gay man on denial to do?"  (embarrass to give name) 

The Amazon is burning, and everybody is looking to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. They should be looking a little further south. In Bolivia, wildfires have been rampaging across the dry savannah of the country for weeks. On the southwest border with Paraguay and Brazil, at least 1 million hectares of farmland have been destroyed. In the northeast, the fires have spread to the Amazon.
Leaving aside the danger to indigenous tribes and the consequences of losing that much farmland, Bolivia’s fires have grave geopolitical implications. Bolivia’s president Evo Morales refused western aid for weeks until domestic and international pressure forced his hand on Sunday. But that initial refusal – from an inferior economic power, no less – both taunts and emboldens neighboring strongman Bolsonaro, who is also set to reject foreign aid for the emerging crisis, preferring to scrap with Macron about his wife.
Coica, the pan-Amazon organization, has accused both Morales and Boslonaro of environmental genocide – but it is Bolsonaro who is being targeted by the G7. While Sao Paulo was plunged into darkness from smoke last week, the world is in metaphorical darkness about the problem of Bolivia. 
South America’s poorest country is a landlocked place of primarily indigenous people and atrocious digital infrastructure. Very little internal news gets out to the West, sandwiched as it is between drama colossuses Argentina and Brazil. In the last two decades, the eyes of the world’s media have moved steadily northwards from Colombia to Venezuela, to Nicaragua and Mexico. Bolivia’s relative scarcity on the world stage might explain why nobody seems to know the name Evo Morales – or how unstable he really is.
The Aymara former coca leaf grower was elected in 2006 as the country’s first indigenous president, on a platform of environmental democracy and progressive rebellion. He’s been there ever since. But unlike his fellow leftist Latinos Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, Morales lacks a big international profile. 
At a Cochabamba conference on climate change in April 2010, the supposedly progressive socialist claimed that eating chicken turned Bolivian men gay. Apparently, it’s “loaded with female hormones”. When men eat it, he warned, they “experience deviations from their manhood.” (At the same conference, he also claimed that baldness in Europe was a disease, caused by their diet.)
Casual homophobia aside – and pseudoscientific fake news considering those producers in Europe and the US had stopped using hormones decades before – the proto-chlorine chicken kerfuffle was the beginning of the end for his environmentalist credentials.
In 2000, Bolivia shook when tens of thousands protested against the privatization of water – because many had no access to clean drinking water. In 2003, the US-backed former president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada sparked riots later known as the Gas Wars with his plans to export Bolivia’s natural gas to the US - even though most of the poorest citizens had no access to fuel. It was in this context of ‘natural power to the people’ that Morales was elected in 2005. He, in turn, played up his indigenous roots with a pre-Incan priest tunic and an address from the temple of Tiwanaku and nationalized Bolivia’s oil and gas. The country became one of the fastest-growing Latin economies, avoiding the downturns in commodities-driven Venezuela and Brazil, but the rapid expansion of agribusiness angered his indigenous base. In 2011, he broke his promise to protect the TIPNIS national park and ancestral indigenous land, allowing it to be carved up by a highway and firing teargas on protesters in La Paz.  

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