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Time to start taking Bolivia seriously

Hey neo-cons--especially you, King George the Dubya--it's time for you all to stop pissing on Bolivia and start showing some respect. Particularly to Evo Morales, in light of his flying start. The man's not even inaugurated yet, and already he shows all the signs of being a full-blown statesman and diplomat, not to mention a sharp businessman:

While on a visit to Beijing, Bolivia's President-elect, Evo Morales, has invited China to help develop his country's energy sector.

One of Mr Morales' economic advisers said China could be interested in converting Bolivia's natural gas into environmentally friendly diesel.

Mr Morales will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday.

Correspondents say his left-wing stance and anti-US speeches may have already won him support in Beijing.

"For the government of President Morales, hydrocarbons is a fundamental topic, in particular the industrialisation of natural gas," Carlos Villegas, an economic adviser to Mr Morales, said in Beijing.

"He invited the Chinese government, through its state companies, to participate."

But Mr Villegas emphasised that China was not the only country Bolivia was assessing as a possible partner.

"We have made the proposal in Spain and France, and now in China... It doesn't mean that we are relying only on China," Mr Villegas said.

You remember China, don't you, guys? They own your debt. I think you'd better practice your kowtowing while you still have time.

And you might want to start by genuflecting respectfully in front of Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, and a host of other leaders who will build a multipolar world over the desiccated bones of your grand (but hollow) ambitions.

Your time is OVER, neo-cons. Another star is rising, and it won't shine on you unless you know your place--beneath it.