Saturday, June 13, 2009

Morales lauds Cuba, Venezuela relations

Morales lauds Cuba, Venezuela relations
Written by Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:26:21 PM

BOLIVIAN President Evo Morales has said he is not ashamed of having close relations
with Cuba and Venezuel President Morales said it was equally absurd that he was accused of being responsible for problems of the indigenous people in Peru who are currently staging protests.

In his address at the University of Havana's Aula Magna on Thursday, President Morales further said the radical transformation process that is taking place in Bolivia and much of Latin America to restore the peoples' dignity, independence and retaking natural resources was irreversible.

He said he remains a big admirer of the Cuban revolution leader Fidel Castro from whom he was anxious to learn more.

Morales said as early as 1994, at the height of his trade union movement leadership, the masses had asked him seek political office so as to bring dignity to Bolivia.

He said the labour movement in Bolivia had then just turned itself into a political movement.

"I rejected the early demands of getting involved into party leadership including seeking mayoral, parliamentary or presidential office," President Morales said. "I considered politicians as criminals."

He said on assuming the presidency of Bolivia, the right wing opposition claimed his reign would not last a few months.

President Morales said soon there was a recall vote which his administration won convincingly, thereby consolidating its power base.

He said then followed a coup attempt, civil strikes and separatist moves in some regions of Bolivia, all aimed at getting him out of office.

"The real terrorists is the oligarchy," President Morales said.

He said his administration believed in equality and peace.

President Morales said based on people's consciousness humanity could be saved.

He said the struggle against imperialism and its instruments of plunder and exploitation would continue.

President Morales said that was why his first meeting as President of Bolivia was with the Cuban government, then led by Fidel Castro, to coordinate cooperation, and then with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

He said had it not been for Cuba and Venezuela, his government would have had a lot of problems.

"I share with Hugo Chavez that we are in the second stage of liberation of our peoples," President Morales said.

He said in Bolivia the nationalising of the hydrocarbons alone had improved the national economy.

"I am not ashamed in any way about my relationship with Cuba and Venezuela," President Morales said. "It is needed as we take firm decisions against the empire. I think these initial processes we are undertaking are irreversible and now we feel international relations should also change."

He said today the nationalist movement was well rooted even in the army.

"A conscious for independence and freeing our natural resources has been created," President Morales said.

He scoffed at claims that he was fanning the indigenous (Peruvian Indians) protests in Peru.

Morales, the first indigenous Bolivian elected president in over 500 years, wondered why there was intimidation and threats from Peru.

He said his best school was the labour movement and that now he was trying to lead the country as President.

"I am not specialised in economics or finance but I have learnt that if we do not defeat capitalist practices, basic problems afflicting our people cannot be solved," President Morales said.

He expressed appreciation of the unconditional solidarity from Cuba.

President Morales said it was impossible for Bolivia to repay the Cuban debt.

"Following several years of colonialism and imperialist plunder it is impossible today for Bolivia to carryout solidarity actions to other peoples of the world but this is our dream," said President Morales.

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