James Carville’s hypocrisy on BP and dubious ties to Antanas Mockus’ establishment opponent in Colombia

On Counterpunch, author Nikolas Kozloff examines American political strategist James Carville’s numerous forays into South American politics, including ties to BP and the establishment opponent of Colombian Green presidential candidate Antanas Mockus, who came in second with a bit over 20 percent of the vote yesterday.  Carville has recently been on American network news blasting BP for their oilspill near his native Louisiana, yet Kozloff talks about what Carville has done to prop up BP in South America (and they are now considering offshore drilling in Colombia, just to add to the hypocrisy).  Read the full article here.

A political guru, frequent CNN pundit and a personality who was featured in the well known documentary The War Room, Carville moves in powerful circles in the U.S.  What’s less commonly known, however, is that Carville is also a virtual kingmaker in Latin America — indeed, his professional contacts have ranged from Mexico’s Ernesto Zedillo to Brazil’s Fernando Enrique Cardoso to many others.

His latest stint is the troubled Andean nation of Colombia, which is fast approaching its presidential election.  There, according to Colombian magazine Semana, Carville has offered his consulting services to Juan Manuel Santos, a former Minister of Defense and member of the governing Social Party of National Unity or Party of the U.  Santos, who is trailing in recent polls against Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus, hopes that a bit of Carville’s previous luster will rub off on him…

Take, for example, the case of Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who works with Carville and helped with the infamous Goni campaign in Bolivia.  According to Tom Hayden of The Nation, one of Greenberg’s clients included BP.  Interestingly enough, Hayden adds, BP was also heavily invested in Bolivia at the time to the tune of billions of dollars.  Indeed, during Goni’s embattled presidency BP was at the center of Bolivian political controversy, as the company formed part of a planned consortium which would have piped gas to Chile and from there on to the U.S.

In the wake of Goni’s ignominious departure from Bolivia, Carlos Mesa inherited the presidency and held a referendum asking Bolivians whether they wished to recuperate state control over natural resources.  “BP,” writes Hayden, “supported the referendum, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as did US Embassy officials, because the possible alternative–an Indian-led revolution–was even worse.”

It’s The Environment, Stupid

All of this prior history is now being brought to bear on Colombia, where Carville in his role as political confidant once again stands to play an influential role.  In Colombia, as in Bolivia, energy companies loom large.  Recently, Bogotá has militarily taken on guerrilla forces and undertaken measures to make the investment climate more promising for foreign oil corporations.

As a result, the country has seen rising petroleum investment, and currently BP is a key player in Colombia.  A company which has already accumulated a sordid environmental and human rights track record in Colombia, BP is —incredibly — thinking about commencing exploratory drilling in offshore Colombian oil blocs.

Colombia needs to give BP the boot if it wants to avert disasters like the one in the Gulf, yet it’s by no means clear that Carville’s man Santos is the one to take on the oil industry.  An establishment politician who favors the military and foreign investment, Santos would seem to be an unlikely environmental champion.

His opponent, Antanas Mockus, is no radical either and it’s not clear whether he would usher in an environmental revolution in Colombia.  However, if Mockus was victorious he would be the first Green Party president in the world.  A politician who wants to restore integrity and legality to Colombian politics, Mockus is therefore more likely to rein in Big Oil.

15 thoughts on “James Carville’s hypocrisy on BP and dubious ties to Antanas Mockus’ establishment opponent in Colombia

  1. NewFederalist

    James Carville a hypocrite? I am shocked! SHOCKED! This man is a GOD! (Okay I’m being sarcastic. He is and always has been a low life scum sucking bottom feeding fuckwad.)

  2. Not so wonderful DEMOCRATIC pundant ......... Lake

    We have met the enemy and he is:

    “Carville is married to Republican political pundit Mary Matalin, who had worked for President George H. W. Bush on his 1992 reelection campaign. Carville and Matalin were married in New Orleans in October 1993. They have two daughters: Matalin Mary “Matty” Carville and Emerson Normand “Emma” Carville. Carville publicly acknowledged that he has adult attention-deficit disorder.[20]”

    Lake: more like ‘Limited Ethics Capability’!

  3. Trent Hill

    Yes, of course Carville is everything that’s wrong with politics–along with nearly everyone other political consultant there is. But at least he’s funny while doing it.

    Plus, he’s from Louisiana. Gotta show some appreciation for a New Orleans guy.

  4. Trent Hill

    NewFederalist,

    I do. He’s from my state. In addition to being an excellent consultant, he’s hilarious. And, despite my thinking he’s wrong, I do think he’s doing his best to stand for what’s right. I don’t get into demonization of others.

  5. Donny Ferguson

    “Good work” in that he keeps a campaign on message and can dig votes out of anywhere. He’s focused on delivering “winning vote total +1″ and doesn’t stop to kick every barking dog.

  6. Green Party Conservative

    Again find myself in agreement with Trent Hill.

    Carville is colorful. Carville is fun.

    At the same time his involvement against the greater good a Green Party President could and would bring is a mistake.

    A few years back, I was jogging on the Mall in Washington D.C. Carville was also running. So we talked our way through a 7 mile run.

    In those days – before he married – Carville still hit the whiskey hard. As a jogging partner the smell of good whiskey was strong…

    In 2006 the afternoon after election, we bumped into each other again. Carville was on a wild rant against Gail “for Rail” Parker of the Independent Greens of Virginia. Gail “for Rail” had been on the ballot for U.S. Senate the night before. Gail’s Rail advocacy had a major impact on that U.S. Senate race.

    Carville ranted. I laughed and told him he was full of ****.

    James didn’t laugh.

    Entertaining. Tough. And wrong on at least those occasions. Wrong in a big way.

  7. Green Party Conservative

    Folks,

    There’s another amazing story in Germany tonight where the President has resigned.

    He had visited German troops in Afghan..

    On the trip home he gave a radio interview..and said some stupid and shocking things for modern German politics.

    He had implied that Germany must protect it’s economic interests, and on occasion that might mean using military means..

    The Green Party rightly said this was absurd, and inappropriate for Germany with it’s history.

    ..Stronger critic came…

    The President’s reaction wasn’t to respond, but to resign.

    This is first German President to resign since before WWII.

  8. that's the ticket!

    “NewFederalist // May 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    James Carville a hypocrite … He is and always has been a low life scum sucking bottom feeding fuckwad.

    “Trent Hill // May 31, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Yes, of course Carville is everything that’s wrong with politics …. But … he’s funny while doing it.

    Plus, he’s from Louisiana. Gotta show some appreciation for a New Orleans guy.”

    So, James Carville is an evil, low-life, scum sucking, bottom feeding, fuckwad, who represents everything that is wrong with politics, and has a hilarious, stand-up comedy routine that features him as a good-old Louisiana boy, and at times you can really appreciate this man and this humor – until you realize that it’s evil bastards like him that give us runaway inflation, out of control budgets, murderous, criminal genocidal regimes, endless wars, pollution, unemployment, poverty, fascist-socialism around the world and eventually leads to the end of liberty if not the end of all human advancement at the hands of the state …

    Yeah, gotta love that New Orleans boy …

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