The other day someone posted a one-liner (sorry, but can't remember where I saw it here) about the Bush family buying a hefty parcel of land in Paraguay. That got the investigative juices flowing; several hours later the story keeps twisting and turning, like floating down a lazy dark Amazonian river--in fact, this is a humdinger. This is hardly an original topic, as Wonkette did some excellent blogging about it on October 18, 2006, but research presented additional food-for-thought. I thought in light of accellerating GOP corruption and scandals, it was probably a good idea to go ahead and resurrect the story.
Why would Bush want to live in Paraguay, you ask? Well, turns out it could be for a couple of very good reasons.
Update: as I mentioned below, I'm new at this (only my third post), and it's been several weeks since last post..up till 3:30am EST last night trying to insert sites, which kept coming up as "errors"..finally gave up trying to do tags and had sites at very bottom of page, which people missed. Since this blog is not a journalistic exercise, per se, and many people post thoughts, meanderings, and conjecture, I thought I'd leave it till today to fix. Thanks for the many wonderful comments and feedback, and I apologize for the seemingly sloppy cross-referencing until I fixed the problem. Residentcynic
First thing's first: in early 2005 Paraguay passed a law that allowed the country to harbor international criminals--alright, the more diplomatic phrasing is that they
granted immunity to U.S. military, (thus, including Commander-in-Chief Bush) from the International Criminal Court if indicted for war crimes or crimes against humanity. (Another link here concerning military moving in to Paraguay.) This was around the same time (May 2005) 400 US Marines were allowed to operate in the country in exchange for aid for 18 months.
Bush allegedly bought land in Paraguay in 2006, a roughly 98,840 acre parcel in the Paso de Patria area called "Chaco", close to the intersections of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. Apparently, it's a gorgeous spot. The land is close to the Bolivian wetlands, is situated near natural gas reserves, and sits atop one of the largest aquifers in the world, the Guarani indigenous water region. Part of the property has been designated an ecological reserve. And wow, they think of everything, it's close to the US Mariscal Estigarribia Military Base. The U.S. officially denies having troops there except for "exercises", and vigorously denies rumors of having its own base there.
Jenna Bush was sent on a "family mission" the first week of October '06 to seal the deal, accompanied by 10 security guards. She met the President of Paraguay and the U.S. Ambassador and "officially" traveled with UNICEF to see a few of their projects, a "strictly private" tour.
Apparently, Bush Sr. owns roughly 173,000 acres in the same area, although there are no confirmed reports. But, here is the strange part: none other than the Reverend Sun Myung Moon was the first to buy a huge chunk in 2000, in that very area. The Moonies have big plans: they want to develop ports, universities, an eco-tourism resort (will his an Bush's intersect?), and reinvigorate the timber trade to Asia. They are in Argentina already, but it seems they are branching out. And it seems like the Bushes followed him.
Bush, Sr. is a big fan of Rev. Moon, and is quoted as calling Moon "the man with the vision," in Argentina in 1996 while helping him hawk his news publication "Times of the World." As you know, Moon also owns the Washington Times. It helps to be a sycophant to someone who donates significantly to one's coiffers--Bush made
$100,000 for the endorsement, and some sources say Moon has given the Bush family approximately $10 million dollars over the years. I won't go into the implications of Bush II's Faith Based Initiatives and how much money Moon has undoubtedly made from American tax dollars either directly or though tax credits. But, it seems as if the entire Bush clan has a friendship, professional or otherwise, with Reverend Moon.
Okay, pretty obvious, (soon to be, but not soon enough) former dictator scopes out property, flees to a South American location to avoid prosecution for war crimes, and gets into business there. Now, what businesses are the most profitable--ie, the most volatile in the region? Oh yes. Natural gas and water. Where is Bush's property? Oh yes, on the Bolivian border where there have been numerous coup d' etat's in the past 100 years, and several national incidents in the past ten years over said natural resources. And, who is hanging out in the Washington, D.C. area as we speak, after fleeing Bolivia from prosecution? Ex-President "Goni" Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, friend of George W. Bush, who wishes to overthrow democratically elected Evo Morales and reinstate power despite the tremendous hate the majority indigenous population feel for him.
This is what gave me pause: the next year after the immunity deal was made, the Paraguayan government revoked U.S. military (and Presidential) immunity from the ICC, taking effect when their contract ended in December 2006. The U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay threatened to discontinue aid to the region unless immunity was reinstated--then, for maybe just maybe a bro' deal, Bush then signed a waiver that continued military aid in countries that have refused to sign immunity agreements with the US. Bush's waiver affects 21 countries, including Paraguay. It seems as though Paraguay was forced into revoking immunity, as it is a member of the MercoSur trade block, which includes Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Paraguay's President Nicano Duarte Frutos is center right, elected in 2003, and his relationship with Bush is said to be a "good political marriage." (Another Marxist perspective of the U.S. military presence here).
Thing is, with a deft stroke of a pen, Bush effectively took protection away from U.S. soldiers in the region, but made sure his friends and business partners-in-crime contine to get what they need--U.S. tax dollars. You know some kind of deal was made to protect his rotten ass.