December 22, 2005

A Piece of Good News and a Joke With Bad Taste

MABB © ®

First things first. A piece of goods news for Bolivia and the newly elected government. It seems Evo Morales will be starting his government on the right track, even thoug he did not have anything to do with it.

The IMF announced yesterday it was releaving 100 percent of Bolivia's debt with the organism under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). This announcemnt was made by Rodrigo Rato, Managing Director of the IMF. Rato said:

"I am delighted to announce that the IMF will grant 100 percent debt relief to 19 countries under the MDRI (including remaining HIPC assistance) amounting to SDR 2.3 billion (about US$ 3.3 billion). This is an historic moment, which will allow these countries to increase spending in priority areas to reduce poverty, promote growth, and to make progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. These countries should receive this debt relief in early 2006."

The other countries to recieve the benefits of the MDRI are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

This must be a well received piece of news, not only for Bolivia, but for the entering government. The relief effort will start on January 1, 2006 and will give the tight Bolivian budget much needed room. The IMF stands ready to lend Bolivia more money to support programs to eradicate poverty, start growth and to achieve the Millenium goals.

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On another piece of news, there was a joke played on Evo Morales on Monday by this guy. His name is Federico Jimenez Losantos. He conducts a radio program called "La Manana" in cadena COPE, a Spanish media network owned by the Spanish Catholic Church. Mr Jimenez got the bright idea to call Evo Morales to congratulate him for his victory. Up to then there is no harm, but, Jimenez did it in the name of the Spanish government and furthermore he impersonated the Spanish president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. You can even hear the phone call in this link. The whole thing is in Spanish, of course, but if you can understand it, it is pretty funny.

Well, It seems like a nice joke, right? No harm done. Not so, the Bolivian government has gottent really upset and has complained to the Spanish government. Now the Spanish government has taken the issue to the Vatican because the radio network, as stated earlier, belongs to the Catholic Church.

Press in Spanish about the issue:

Moratinos pide al Vaticano que evite “hechos deplorables“ como la llamada a Evo Morales

Torpeza de comediante afecta relacion bilateral

Un humorista de la cadena COPE conversó con Evo Morales haciéndose pasar por Zapatero

FEDERICO JIMÉNEZ LOSANTOS

La Conferencia Episcopal admite que la broma es «inaceptable» y que la COPE debe disculparse

Una avería fortuita silencia a la cadena COPE en Cataluña durante hora y media

Update: An interesting comment by Fistful of Euros can be read in this Link.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

El email donde todos los que quieran pueden escribir al comediante que se hizo la burla del presidente de Bolivia es:
The email where you can reach the comedian that made fun of the bolivian president is:

lamanana@cope.es

Espero que todos manden sus quejas directo al cabron ese.
I hope every body sends their compalints to that asshole.

Anonymous said...

Súper gracioso. Felicitaciones a COPE. Que no se rasguen las vestiduras los otros ¿acaso chistan cuando Castro y Chávez llaman de los peores insultos a Bush y a Blair?

Hipócritas.

Javier said...

Esta llamada, es, obviamente, un delito. Espero que el ministerio fiscal sepa que hacer con los de la COPE.

Edward Hugh said...

Hi Miguel. Nice blog. I posted on the Cope thing on A Fistful of Euros.

http://fistfulofeuros.net/archives/002223.php

The thing is, this is a game inside Spanish politics.

miguel (MABB) said...

Hi Edward, thanks for visiting.

I bet it is. I posted a link to your post in the article.

Happy New Year for you.

Sergio Flores said...

Hello. I tried to post a similar comment at Edward's place A fistful of euros, but it wouldn't allow my post, so I'll comment here: The joke was funny, and the socialist Spanish government overreacted to the egg on the face of the leftist Bolivian president. It is amazing how "progressives" run out of their sense of humor when the joke is on them. Message for Edward and for the entertaining Mrs. T (Ed runs fistful of euros, the Mrs. dropped in like Cromwell's wife and "nada for the hated Popists!:), obsessed as she seems to be with the Roman Catholic Church ("RC" Mrs. T? Now, please): at the rate Europe is decreasing its population, and at the rate the not-assimilated Muslim immigrant-and-2nd-generation population is increasing its own, pretty soon the financing of the Roman Catholic Church (or ANY Christian church) will be the least of your problems, in Spain, Germany, England, Holland, well, everywhere. Europe is a continent and a civilization that has chosen to die off. Now, that is rather important, not whether a Catholic radio played a joke on a president-elect using his own stupid ideology (and that of Spain's current government) to mock him, or whether humorless commentators feel the sting of a prank.

miguel (mabb) said...

Yes, I tend to agree with that. The joke was not as bad as I thought at first. I don't think they ridiculed Evo too much. :-)

However, I also think there is a play of politics in it. I guess you could call it the conservatives in Spain are not happy with the new government and thus don't mind if it gets some bad propaganda once in a while.

It might seem a trivial joke, but it resulted on a real diplomatic row.

Boby said...

Hola,

Resulto un problema diplomático que llegó hasta el vaticano, por una simple razón: La broma no culminó con el "periodista?" diciendole a Evo : "Ahora sonría a la cámara" (O hable al micrófono), usted está en un programa de la COPE. Por tanto, se hicieron declaraciones oficiales por parte del MAS, anunciando que Zapatero había llamado a Evo y lo invitó a España. Acto seguido, el gobierno español, desmiente esta versión (ahí el problema diplomático) y buscado el malentendido, estaba en el dichoso programa de radio. Cada uno puede tener una visión distinta de lo que es gracioso o no, de hecho, en España misma, cada dos por tres están los programas de televisión poniendo en figurillas a sus políticos (izquierdas y derechas), el problema aquí es no aclarar cuando una broma es una broma y eso es una falta de respeto terrible.

Miguel said...

Boby, no lo podias haber dicho mejor. Lo que yo puedo anadir es que el gobierno boliviano, segun mi opinion, vio la broma como una falta de respeto. Al no poder pedirle a la COPE que se disculpe oficialmente, se lo pidio al gobierno espanol.

Pero eso es un interesante tip sobre la cultura politica en espana. Es normal que las radios hagan esas bromas a sus politicos sin aclarar al final que lo que estan haciendo es una broma?

Boby said...

Solo llevo en Barcelona unos pocos meses y no escucho mucha radio, pero, al menos en televisión (aunque bromas bastante irrespetuosas) todas son bastante de frente. Tengo entendido que el periodista de la COPE llegó a hacer una broma similar a Chavez (o a Castro? no recuerdo bien), pero al final quedó claro que era una broma y a más de ganarse el desprecio eterno de la víctima (cosa que suele no importar demasiado a quien hace la broma), el asunto no pasó a mayores. En fin, creo que el problema con Evo tuvo más impacto en España que en la misma Bolivia, tocando la fibra (siempre vigente) de izquierdas y derechas. En general, se asocia a la iglesia (la COPE dentro) con el PP (partido de Aznar) y la derecha, que particularmente me parecen bastante detestables.

Miguel said...

Tienes razon, el impacto fue minimo en Bolivia.

Yo creo que Bolivia tiene una relacion de odio y amor con Espana. Por un lado es el imperio colonizador y civilizador (por lo menos eso es lo que los espanoles piensan). Por otro lado, es la coneccion con el mundo europeo y parte de nuestra cultura.

Anonymous said...

El problema no es que el grupo RISA (no Jiménez Losantos, no era él quien llamó) haga una broma a Evo Morales, o Chávez o Castro. El problema radica en que estos sinvergüenzas no le hacen esas mismas bormas a George Bush, o Tony Blair, o Schroeder. No, sólo es gracioso meterse con líderes socialistas indígenas de países latinoamericanos. Viva el Vaticano.

Anonymous said...

You ought to be better informed , Federico had nothing to do with that. You idiots.
All over the world some radios hostesses have done that, They did it to the Vatican, Queen of England, Prime Minister of Canada and many others, have been "victims of a similar joke " But they had good time with it you idiots they with class laugh it all.
You communists because you were exposed by the stupidity of Evito …
It was funny and we learned that Zapatero as usual, was making promises….

Rojos de mierda!!!