Our Brand is Crisis- Neoliberalism and the Global Empire

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal">The film, <i>Our Brand is Crisis</i> is a documentary on the 2002 Bolivian election, a showdown between Gonzalo “Goni “Sanchez de Lozada and Evo Morales. Candidate Goni beat Evo Morales by receiving 22 percent of votes. However, due to his solution to import gas through Chile to the US, along with his increasing unpopularity, was forced to resign his presidency. In the larger picture, the deal would seem to benefit the United States more than Bolivia. Goni ignored negative Bolivian sentiment toward Chile, who took land from Bolivia after the War of the Pacific.</div><div class="MsoNormal">This follows the trend of neoliberalism that had recently engulfed Latin American countries. In the 1990s, Chile’s economy was able to benefit the majority of all Chileans; however, the poor were left poor (Chasteen 317). Neoliberalism is an ideology that has replaced Marxist revolutions in Latin America and promotes an “emphasis on free trade, export production, and the doctrine of comparative advantage” (311).<span>&nbsp; </span>Most of the leaders in the region conformed to this ideology. They are credited with fixing the economic crisis that once posed as problems in the 1980s (312). These policies helped countries such as Mexico and Brazil who were millions of dollars in debt. Mostly the middle class reaped the benefits of neoliberalism. It seemed as if neoliberalism was a positive policy. Unfortunately, what it really caused was the wealth of the rich to increase and the already unfortunate to suffer more, due to the income of foreign capital and foreign products (317).</div><div class="MsoNormal">This was only good news for the United States. Can neoliberalism be a product of the Economic Hit Man? John Perkins, in his memoir about being a EHM, describes the goal of an EHM. It is to create a global empire, based on teachings from history, which “promotes US commercial interests” (Perkins 20).<span>&nbsp; </span>What his job was to deceive Latin American leaders into large unrepayable American loans, and by not repaying these loans, Latin American countries had to repay America in resources. Because of this deception, the poor are once again left to suffer. In Ecuador, selling its rain forests to the American oil companies minimized their debt (xxiii). Ecuador’s land is ideal for two reasons- the first is because US relations with the Middle East are not known to be the greatest of relationships, oil has to attained from other places such as Ecuador, and second is that the sea of oil beneath the Amazonian regions “is believed to rival the oil fields of the Middle East” (xxiii). The indigenous groups were forced to move off the land and in return they promised education, food, and shelter (167). Like most Americans, Perkins’ employers thought America was doing these countries favors by building modern infrastructures and establishing our form of civilization (19). The consequences are destroyed rainforests and violence from the original habitants of the land.<span>&nbsp; </span>Then Ecuador had a beacon of hope- a leader named Jamie Roldos. He opposed the further infiltration of American oil companies; consequently in 1981, he happened to die in a fiery plane crash. Perkins states that the general public opinion was a CIA assassination. Thus far, the global empire led by America has not had much opposition, and it seems to be working on our behalf. However, what is the price for one nation’s prosperity?</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/4507342150998272570-3327563598111206144?l=aoutk475.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>