Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have signed a trade agreement.
With Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez seated nearby, President Evo Morales signed an updated version of the so-called Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, adding Bolivia as a third member.
"In Cuba and Venezuela we find unconditional solidarity," Morales said. "They are the best allies for changing Bolivia."
Not everyone was cheering this new-found unconditional solidarity.
Their leaders' embrace of the socialist-tinged ALBA has rattled Bolivian and Venezuelan business leaders.
"The government should reach out more to the business sector and create a common agenda, figure out what markets interest us, where there are possibilities and separate the ideological and political from trade and economy," said Gary Rodriguez, general manager of the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute.
Yeah, no shit.
Last year, Bolivia delivered almost 300 million dollars worth of exports to the US. According to this article in CNN, Bolivia exported just $5,291 worth of goods to Cuba. That figure has no (in thousands) behind it. Bolivia exported to Cuba, the entire country of Cuba, goods and services equivalent in value to a used 1999 Buick Lesabre. There are only so many Che t-shirts to be sold on that island. A changing Bolivia is what he's about to get, although it's hard to imagine Bolivia getting any more poverty stricken than it is now.
In order to thumb their nose at President Bush and the US, Cuba, Venezuela (exports to the US in 2005, almost $34 billion) and Bolivia have signed a pact to trade with each other, instead of the most lucrative market on the planet (total value of goods imported into the US in 2005, $1.67 trillion).
Looks like we've managed to export BDS.