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Reader Email: A Different Perspective On The Crisis In Bolivia

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A reader sent an email to us offering a very different perspective from a recent article on Bolivia that we published.

  • Reflect On:

    In complex geopolitical matters, has it not become essential to read about and fully understand both sides of a conflict before coming to an understanding of what is actually going on?

I don’t pretend to be an expert in geopolitical affairs, but I do write about them from time to time based on the information that is available to me. One thing that I hold as an advantage, and this could be said about CE as a whole, is that I am only interested in finding and revealing the truth. When readers write in offering a different perspective on what I’ve written, I am happy to evaluate it honestly to see if it makes more sense than what I’ve said, or at least if it provides another side of the story which brings us to a more nuanced and balanced understanding of what is going on in a particular country in the world.

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This has happened to me in my reporting on Hong Kong, where my article ‘What Are The Hong Kong Protests All About?‘ led to ‘Let’s Look At Both Sides Of The Hong Kong Protests,’ and reporting on Venezuela, with articles Globalists Want Venezuela As The Next Jewel In Their Crown and Burning Aid Trucks In Venezuela Bring Western Propaganda To Light leading to Reader Emails: Stop Making Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Out To Be A Saint.

Something similar has occurred as a result of our article ‘They’re Killing Us Like Dogs: A Massacre In Bolivia and a Plea for Help‘. Briefly, the article characterized the takeover of the government in Bolivia as a violent and illegitimate coup against Evo Morales, who was forced to flee to Mexico with his family. While I did not write the aforementioned article (it was actually a guest post originally published by Mintpress News), I did receive an email from Ivanka who lives in Bolivia and had a very different take on what is happening on the ground. In the interest of exposing our readership to different perspectives, our reader’s insights are provided here.

Ivanka’s Emails

Ivanka wrote that ‘I have been following CE for many years and consider it a very trusting and reliable source of information,’ but felt that our article on Bolivia was unfairly slanted and one-sided. Here are the reasons she gave:

FIRST, there was NO coup in Bolivia! The article does not mention the 20 days of peaceful civic resistance across all Bolivia, with the whole country on strike after the October 20 elections due to many reports of fraud (dead relatives voting, people went to the polls and someone had already voted for them, videos of votes being changed or replaced). These were not reports being seen on TV or what people read on newspapers, it was what our friends and family where experiencing and seeing during the voting day and sharing with each other via their phones. During these 20 days, Evo, the president at the time, threatened to lay siege to the cities and prevent food from entering if they did not stop the strike, he made fun of the blockades, sharing that he would give workshops on how to appropriately do a blockade and after two weeks he asked that the country go back to normal as there were not professional soccer matches due to the Resistance. These were all speeches that Bolivians saw. He also ordered the attack with snipers, of a caravan of buses with miners coming from Potosi, that were going to the capital of La Paz to support the demands for the president to resign. Of course Maddeas’ article does not reference any of this.

Second,  people were tired of the abuse of power, corruption and lies of Evo’s presidency.  He had been president for 14 years (3 terms) and despite losing a referendum in 2016 to change the constitution to run indefinitely, in 2017 he got approval from this selected Supreme Court tribunal, that it was a human right to run indefinitely for president. Does that sound like democracy or respect for people of the country?

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3] He claimed he was indigenous supporting the indigenous, yet he approved the burning of over 5 million acres of the Bolivian Amazon in August for coca and soy production, horrifically suppressed de TIPNIs in 2011, built a $7 million dollar museum about himself, built himself a $45 million dollar palace for the government (when one already existed), bought himself a $45 million dollar private airplane, and many more things. This is in a country that is third world and has desperate need for schools, hospitals and even running water in many areas.

4] As far as the violence Maddea describes, she does not explain how Evos supporters were armed with rifles and dynamite and attempted to blow up the Senkata Gas plant on Nov 19, that would have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Nor she mentions how since Nov 10, armed and violent Evos supporters (mostly coca growers) have vandalized, burned and blow up public and private property in La Paz  including the burning of homes of civic leaders of the Resistance, burned 68 buses of public transportation in La Paz, blew up overpasses to stop traffic and food from coming into the city.

After I replied to Ivanka she provided additional information in a subsequent email:

I just received this article that does a very good job at providing factual information on the Legality of how things happened after Evo resigned, and how the Bolivian constitution was followed and specific facts on the situation

phttps://thehill.com/opinion/international/472356-dispelling-myths-about-the-battle-for-democracy-in-bolivia

Here is a song that was written towards the end of 20 day Civic Resistance, they translated the lyrics to english when you use CC. It does a very good job of summarizing the 20 day Civic resistance and how people felt. It references many previous acts like 1]the repression of Tipnis, 2] the repression of the disabled, 3] deaths and impunity of the government to do whatever they wanted, 4] how they disrespected the Bolivian vote in the referendum and then again in the October 20 elections.  It’s important to note that NO political party led the civic strike, bolivians did not want politicians involved, they don’t care for them. if you look at history, Bolivia has had many military coups, dictators, political and social unrest even int the last 40 years.  the civilian strike was led by civic organizations from accross the country that united and coordinated the efforts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQULkBfrh9o

Evo and his vice president, resigned on November 10 in an effort to “stop the bloodshed that spread across the country in recent weeks”. Yes, that is what he said in his speech, we all heard him. They also insisted they were victims of a coup, but again, there was not political party leading, nor the military was out on the street until November 11. Bolivians were very concerned that Bolivia would become the next Venezuela and Cuba, because of all the policy changes and Evo’s rhetoric. They were the same.  People were chanting: This is not Cuba, is not Venezuela, This is Bolivia and Bolivia is respected! Another chant was: “who gives up? No one gives up. Who gets tired? No one gets tired. Evo again? No way in Hell” – of course I translated.

During the 20 day protest, he said many tings (as I pointed out into my previous e-mail) which turned more and more groups against him. So little by little, the glass of water that was already full, kept over flowing with water until it exploded.  When Evo was leaving, he went to Chimore which is where Coca is grown and where he built a 45 million dollar airport in the middle of a tiny town of 30 thousand people, and where there are zero international flights. Why do you think he built that brand new airport a few years ago? of course no one internationally mentions this, but all Bolivians know. Here is a map of Evo’s supporters. There were mostly coca growers, as Evo has been the president of all 6 coca growing organizations since about 1995.

Making Sense Of It All

As with my previous experiences diving into the conflicts in Hong Kong and Venezuela, reading these two sides of the Bolivian affair really encourages us to take a more nuanced look at these complex geopolitical conflicts, and resist jumping to one side or the other, as difficult as that is for our minds to handle. In one paragraph of the article we previous published the author intimates that she did process information from both sides in order to come to her conclusions:

It’s little wonder that many Bolivians have no idea what is happening. I have interviewed and spoken to dozens of people on both sides of the political divide. Many of those who support the de facto government justify the repression as a way to restore stability. They refuse to call President Evo Morales’ ouster a coup and claim there was fraud in the October 20 election that sparked the conflict. These claims of fraud, which were prompted by a report by the Organization of American States, have been debunked by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

However, for Ivanka, the author did not take any of the claims of those who support the de facto government very seriously. It is not a question of doubting that the author reported on what she saw, which inevitably involved protesters with bullet wounds, some of whom died. It is a question of coming into the situation and making a snap-fire judgment of what is going on based only on what she has observed, without really understanding both sides of the conflict and the historical reality of the situation that Ivanka has lived through as a citizen of Bolivia. Ivanka had much more to say about the details, but I believe this will suffice to provide enough information from both sides to give us something to contemplate, and for some create the hunger to look into the situation more deeply, and from a ore nuanced position.

The Takeaway

My own takeaway from important emails from people like Ivanka is to try not to stay stuck on one side of a particular narrative while being closed to information from the other narrative. No doubt, there are villains and villainy on each extremity. But more importantly, Bolivia has many good people on either side of the conflict fighting essentially for the same thing: peace, prosperity, and freedom. Only when people on each side of the conflict are able to see the similarities in each other’s desires will it become possible to come together and fully implement their shared goals.

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Spring Has Sprung In Sweden With No Coronavirus Quarantine Or Police Enforced Lockdown

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Sweden has not enforced a mandatory quarantine or police enforced lock-down, they are still experiencing deaths as well as infections, but have not enforced policies in place.

  • Reflect On:

    Just because many governments have taken an extreme approach to "flattening the curve" does not mean that this is the best approach. Sweden trusts it's citizens to make appropriate decisions for themselves and their families, why don't ours?

While the majority of rest of the world is under a state of quarantine and some places with a police enforced lockdown, the country of Sweden takes an entirely different approach. The Western approach has triggered mass panic, fear and confusion about what is going on and when and if they will ever get to go back to how things were. The Swedish government, on the other hand has a close bond with their citizens and they have developed a sense of trust over the years by treating the adults, as adults who are capable of making informed decisions and taking appropriate measures to keep themselves and their families safe.

Sweden Takes A More Relaxed Approach

Unlike most of their European neighbours, Sweden has not closed non-essential businesses, borders or schools. They also have not banned gatherings containing two or more people. Sweden’s response to the global pandemic is being overseen mostly by the country’s Public Health Agency, which by the way, is a separate entity from their government. Sweden puts the power in the hands of the people, trusting that they will voluntarily adopt the recommended measures to delay the spread of the virus. They are still encouraging those who are vulnerable to stay at home and practice social distancing, and those who are ill to do the same, but they are not using force, hysteria, fear and panic to do so.

But in view of the evident worsening of the situation, Lena Hallengren, Minister of Social Affairs and Health and Johan Carlson, Director General of the National Institute of Public Health, presented new guidelines and regulations to try to limit the damage caused by the Covid-19 virus.

The most important of these guidelines concerns the number of customers in shops and stores, public transport and the activities of the country’s sports clubs.

Johan Carlson said, “Everyone should avoid participating in large social events, such as baptisms, weddings and big parties.” (source)

Controversial Measures

Of course, considering the state of the rest of the world, Sweden has attracted a lot of criticism from within the country and outside of it. The leading epidemiologist for the Public Health Agency, Anders Tegnell told CNBC in an interview that although his country was attempting a different strategy to defeat the spread of the virus, their aim was the same, “My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much as possible to keep healthcare and society working … and we have shown some different methods to slow down the spread. Sweden has gone mostly for voluntary measures because that’s how we’re used to working, and we have a long tradition that it works rather well.”

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Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven has announced that times will be tough and has put the responsibility on the individual Swedes rather than having governments enforce strict measures, saying, “We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can’t legislate and ban everything.”

Is Sweden In Danger?

It is interesting to note that as of today (April 3rd) there have been only 6,131 cases of Covid19 reported in Sweden, this ranks Sweden as 19th on the worldmeters.info list. So, in comparison to 18 other countries Sweden is actually doing alright with the measures they have put in to place.

Only time will tell if the measures taken by Sweden were appropriate or not. If they are able to manage the problem and still effectively “flatten the curve” it may be upsetting to the all the countries that are currently being asked to stay inside at all costs. A positive aspect to Sweden’s approach is that they are not using fear tactics as a means to control their citizens, less fear/stress means stronger immune systems.

Imagine if your government trusted you as a citizen enough to make the best decisions for you and your family based off recommendations instead of enforcing measures to control its citizens. I mean, can we get a little credit here to make appropriate decisions on our own during times like these? Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history shared his thoughts on the measures that are being taken to combat the new coronavirus, he referred to them as “draconian.” You can see his statement and read more about that here.

According to 21stcenturywire.com,

Only time will tell what the best response to this year’s outbreak turns out to be, but for the moment Sweden’s more laissez-faire approach should be heartening to its population. The government entrusting its citizens to observe advice and adjust their behaviours accordingly without the threat of police intervention is something that should be applauded in a free society. It also maintains a higher level of trust going in the other direction, from the public to the government. On a practical level, not employing draconian measures immediately prevents hysteria from taking hold amongst the public and allows for a slower escalation of measures should they be needed.

Trust is an important factor in a democracy where a government rules by consent of the people. Public trust in Sweden is exceptionally high, with citizens having faith that their politicians are acting in the public interest. Their propensity to treat adults like adults is key to that trust remaining.”

Final Thoughts

Just because many governments worldwide have enforced these strict measures doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the only option we have and they are the only way to effectively stop the spread. There are a lot of points worth pondering when it comes to the approach taken by most of the western world and it’s important to always keep asking questions. Absolutely stay home if you’re sick or have a compromised immune system, but for those who aren’t don’t forget to get out in the sunshine, get some fresh air, go for walks in nature and try to mitigate some of the fear and stress you may be feeling.

We are all in this together.

Articles From Collective Evolution That Go Into More Detail About The New Coronavirus.

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What Is Humanity Capable Of? This Man Got 152 Million Mangrove Trees Planted In 10 Years

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal's Minister of Environment, has led one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen. The program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta, Senegal.

  • Reflect On:

    If one person can do this, why can't the 'global elite' who have access to tremendous resources do more of this type of thing? What's really on?

Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal’s Minister of Environment, led a program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta of souther Senegal over the past decade. This represents one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen.  He’s been planting since 2009, and the success of the project truly goes to show what the human race is capable of, let alone one person.

As most of you reading this know, forests are one of the most exploited habitats on our planet, and a number of industries are responsible for their rapid destruction. Animal agriculture, alone, for example, makes up the large majority of amazon deforestation. It’s linked to 75 percent of historic deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Nearly a third of biodiversity loss to date has been linked to animal agriculture. According to some estimates,  27 per cent – more than a quarter – of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues. (source)

To truly begin exploring how new ideas can be implemented practically, watch the following video we recently put out: Regenerate: beyond The CO2 Narrative

Deforestation is a tragedy that plagues our world, and it’s something that can be solved as we have the potential as one human race to initiate large scale tree planting and reforestation, and this example from Senegal is a great example of that.

In a video interview with BBC, Haidar described how the original mangrove forest in Southern Senegal was disrupted in the 80s and 90s as the nation began to build roads which diverted or ended the flow of rivers. “At the time there were no environmental impact studies, of course.” After this he described lumbermen who clear-cut the mangroves, and then goes on to explain that the salt from sea water ended up coming in as a result and poisoning nearby rice fields. This really got peoples attention to the point where they began thinking about replacing what had been lost.

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The truth is, the human race has a tremendous amount of potential. All we hear from politicians and mainstream media seems to be nothing but talk, without the implementation of actual solutions. They’ve been doing this for years, yet you have people like Ali out there who are actually getting things done without access to the resources that the world’s elite have access to. If one man can do something as tremendous as this, imagine if the most wealthiest people in the world came together, pooled their resources and started something similar? It seems that ideas are always given, and conferences are always held and initiatives are always started, but nothing ever seems to get done when it comes to the political sphere. Countries agree to enter into certain accords that really do nothing for the planet, and crisis’ like climate change and pandemics, for example, always seem to be used for the elite to somehow profit off of them.

It’s time to ask the question, do our ‘leaders’ really have the intention to change our world for the better? Are our global organizations and politicians put in place to tackle these issues really making planet Earth a priority?

It’s hard to imagine that we couldn’t change this planet and clean it up in the blink of an eye if it actually were a priority.

If we can shut down the planet for months due to an outbreak, why can’t we do the same to make sure everybody is fed? Why can’t we do the same to spark a massive global reforestation campaign? Why are there so many barriers and obstacles to implementing solutions that can help change our world? The solutions are abundant and available, so one should ask themselves, if the solutions to our problems aren’t the issue, what is? Something to think about…

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White House: Out of 327 Million Americans – Coronavirus May Kill Up To 200,000

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the latest White House press conference regarding the novel coronavirus, President Trump and his team predicted that, with the current data available, between 100,000 and 200,000 may die from Coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we doing the right thing here? How accurate is the date, do we have enough data? Why haven't we taken these measures before for previous outbreaks and already existing coronaviruses that infect millions of people every single year?

In one of Donald Trump’s latest press conferences, it was suggested that up to 200,000 American citizens will die from the new coronavirus. The briefing included projections between 100,000 and 200,000, as a possible best-case scenario, and indicated that they are working hard and that they can end up with a number below one hundred thousand if everything goes well. You may be thinking that one hundred thousand and two hundred thousand deaths out of three hundred and twenty seven million Americans is nothing, and in a sense, compared to other viruses and diseases that are circulating out there, you’re right. The difference with the coronavirus, however, is that the deaths are accumulating in such a short period of time.

That being said, the world, as well as America, has been through major pandemics before, with the last one receiving major media attention being the swine flu. This particular strain of the flu virus infected 1.4 billion people around the world, and in one year took approximately 60,000 American lives. The flu alone is responsible for up to 70,000 deaths every single year in America alone. In fact, a large portion of this with a flu virus, prior to the new coronavirus, already have some sort of coronavirus infection within them. (source)

Some doctors and scientists around the world are raising red flags and calling into question the measures that are being taken as a result of the new coronavirus. Claiming that there is unnecessary panic and hysteria going on. For example, Dr. Martin Dubravec, an allergist-immunologist, wrote an article for the  Association of American Physicians and Surgeons published on March 29th, in it he states the following in an attempt to provide people with perspective.

Of all the deaths reported in the United States as of today, only 2 have been in patients under 18 years of age.  Currently, our death rate (deaths/confirmed cases) has been as high as 2.3% and as low as 1.1% over the past 2 weeks.  The President’s COVID-19 Taskforce estimated that as many at 1/1000 New Yorkers may have the virus.  If this were projected to the entire United States (population 328,239,523), then the total number of COVID-19 would be approximately 328, 239 and deaths from COVID-19 (1.8% death rate) at 5,909.  Even if this ends up being wrong by 1,000 percent, the death rate would still be 59,000, i.e., within range of the estimates for influenza deaths.  You can look at it in another way.  98% of people who get COVID-19 fully recover!

As of today (March 29, 2020) there are 123,828 confirmed cases and 2229 deaths (1.8% death rate) from COVID-19 in the United States.  Compare that with the influenza estimates so far this year:  29,000 deaths!  And the flu season is not yet over, with the CDC estimating as many as 59,000 will die of influenza by May of this year.

The CDC estimates a death rate of 7.4% for influenza like illnesses and pneumonia this year.  This death rate is similar to previous years.  Who in the media is discussing this? (source)

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Coronaviruses have been in existence for a number of years, they infect tens of millions of people every single year worldwide and also contribute to their deaths. It appears that the novel coronavirus will be no different, but I don’t have a crystal ball.

 paper recently published in The International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents titled “SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data” claims that the problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably being overestimated. (source)

Contradictory Reporting?

In the recent White House briefing where the president provided the White House’s estimates, Dr. Deborah Leah Birx, an American physician and diplomat who specializes in HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health who is currently serving as the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, stated that there is not a shortage of ventilators in New York City, as claimed by multiple mainstream media outlets, like CNN. This is also confusing, to see these comments in a White House Press conference directly contradict what mainstream media outlets are reporting.  Not to say hospitals are not overwhelmed right now, but mainstream media also using hospital footage from Italy and claiming it’s from New York further contributed to the distrust people have of mainstream media.

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history recently shared his thoughts on the measures that are being taken to combat the new coronavirus. Bhakdi created a YouTube channel on March 18th, and has since posted four videos that have received more than one million views, total, in a very short span of time. Based on his reasoning, the current measures being put in by global governments are unnecessary and “draconian.” You can watch his last video, which was in the form of a letter written to the German Chancellor, here.  If you can’t understand German, be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

Implementation of the current draconian measures that are so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no.

Dr. Wolfgang Wodargm, a well known pulmonologist sharing his thoughts on the new coronavirus. In it, he questions the current lockdown measures being taken by governments worldwide. You can watch that video and read more about it here.  Again, if you can’t understand German, be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

These sentiments also echo those of three Stanford professors of medicine who recently shared their expert opinion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary data. You can read more about that specifically, here.

Will Donald Trump and his staff be correct? Will the death toll in the United States be no higher than 200,000. We have yet to see. It should be noted that models are always very inaccurate, and new data is constantly coming in that are changing the projections.

For the most part, it seems that the measures we are taken and have may not be warranted, but is it better to be safe than sorry, or is something else going on here? Just simply suggesting that something else could be taking place will have ‘fact-checkers’ all over one’s platform, censoring it and also flagging it as ‘false news.’

According to Dr. Ron Paul. people should ask themselves whether the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic. He was flagged by fact-checkers for simply sharing his opinion.

Beyond Fear

Nonetheless, we have provided many tools to not only move beyond fear, but to increase your immune system with food, breathwork and quality supplements. We have also put out some of our latest content o help people shift conversations away from a far narrative and into one where we can question our reality and how we can effectively change it. See the links below for details.

How To Take Vitamin C Orally. It MAY Help Protect Against Viruses

How We Can Regenerate Our Environment & Planet (Documentary)

Enjoy This Free Conscious Breathing Course To Bring Peace & Heightened Immunity

Foods That Weaken Your Immune System

Join Our Telegram Channel For Updates

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