Álvaro García Linera: ‘There is no exclusive model’
The following interview with Álvaro García Linera, Bolivia’s Vice-President, conducted during his visit to Argentina. Translated from the Spanish by Richard Fidler, from Página/12.
As we approach the presidential election in Venezuela, is there a common project in South America?
The interesting thing is that our processes are not tied to an exclusive model. They are plural searches, with differentiated speeds and degrees of intensity, to dismantle the neoliberal machinery that accumulated by expropriating the public sector. I respect what they can do in Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela…. In Bolivia we working on the basis of our material possibilities, our reality. At first each process was a trickle of water. Now they are joining each other to form a converging torrent.
Bolivia Calls UNASUR Summit to Discuss Colombia’s Inclusion in NATO
La Paz, June 3 (Prensa Latina) The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, described Colombia”s decision to join NATO as a threat to the region and called an extraordinary meeting of the Security Council of UNASUR.
During a ceremony in the southern city of Potosi, Morales considered that the decision of President Juan Manuel Santos to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a violation of the peace treaties signed by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and involves a dangerous possibility of military intervention to the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We can not allow NATO to intervene Latin America. Having NATO is a threat to our continent, to Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.
Bolivia: Nationalisation puts wealth in hands of the people
Boliviais demonstrating to the world why nationalising natural resources is a crucial first step for any government seeking to put people and the environment before profits.
On May 1, 2006, less than four months after becoming president, Evo Morales decreed the nationalisation of the country’s gas reserves. This move restored state control over the strategic resource.
In doing so, Morales followed through with one of his key election promises and met a historic demand of the Bolivian people. The people had overthrown successive presidents unwilling to take Bolivia’s gas out of the hands of greedy transnationals.
Given the status of gas as Bolivia’s key resource and source of wealth, it was no surprise ― this resources came to be seen as a vehicle for lifting the poorest country in the region out of its misery.
Latin America's social movements map solidarity with ALBA
by Federico Fuentes
An important summit of global significance, held in Brazil May 16-20, has largely passed below the radar of most media outlets, including many left and progressive sources.
This summit was not the usual type, involving heads of states and business leaders.
Gathering of representatives from social movements
Instead, it was a gathering of social movement representatives from across Latin America and the Caribbean -- the site of some of the most intense struggles and popular rebellions of the past few decades.
This region also remains the only one where an alternative to neoliberal capitalism has emerged. Pushing this alternative is the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA). Spearheaded by the radical governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba, it has eight member states, but seeks to relate to people's movements, not just governments.
Going beyond talking
Why President Morales Shuns USAID
Jacey Fortin, International Business Times
Bolivian President Evo Morales sparked controversy on Wednesday [May 1], when he called for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to leave his country.
The statement came during a May Day rally in La Paz, the Bolivian seat of government. Morales, who leads the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), has long accused the U.S. government of conspiring against his leftist administration.
“They might think that they can manipulate us economically and politically here, but that is no longer the case,” he said to the crowds gathered outside of his presidential palace.
“The U.S. is still conspiring -- that is why we have decided to expel USAID of Bolivia.”
American State Department officials have denied Morales’ claims, calling them “baseless allegations.” But rumours of clandestine U.S. efforts to destabilize the Bolivian government have been circulating for years, lending some credence to the president’s suspicions.
La Paz, Apr 16 (PrensaLatina) The Government of Bolivia believes that the US questioning of electoral results in Venezuela is a way to trigger instability in that country in order to justify a coup and intervention.
In a press conference on April 16, President Evo Morales rejected the attitude of a White House spokesperson, who demanded a vote recount [of the Venezuelan elections] because of the tight margin between the two main candidates Nicolas Maduro and Henrique Capriles.
“I am certain that behind those remarks, the United States is preparing a coup d’ etat in Venezuela,” Morales said, and described the U.S. spokesperson’s stance as interference in the internal affairs of Latin America. Morales questioned the White House’s moral authority to challenge electoral results worldwide.
Historic Decision Affirms Bolivian Sovereignty
By Juan Valencia
May 1, 2013 – Today Bolivians are celebrating May 1, “International worker’s day”. In Bolivia this date has become even more important because is the seventh anniversary of the nationalization of oil and gas that Bolivian President Evo Morales carried through on May 1, 2006. That was just a few months after he was sworn in as the first democratically elected, indigenous president of Bolivia in January 2006, winning with 54 % of the ballots.
Without this sovereign and historic decision, the country would have been forced to request a loan from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, or other foreign entities. That is why it can be stated that without the nationalization of oil and gas all the later transformational changes in Bolivia would have not been accomplished.
During the seven years prior to the nationalization (1999-2005) the government received US$2.1 billion in oil/gas revenue. After the nationalization (2006-2013) it has received eight times more: $16.09 billion.
Law passed to prevent violence against women
Ambitious legislation has been approved that seeks to combat violence against women. Human rights and women’s organisations have campaigned for the law for a number of years, but the government finally took action after a series of high-profile cases, including the murder of journalist Hanalí Huaycho.
The Comprehensive Law to Guarantee Women a Life Free of Violence includes harsher sentences for a range of different types of offences committed against women. It also includes educational programmes and media campaigns, as well as rehabilitation for offenders.
Violence against women has long been a serious problem in Bolivia, with local NGO the Centre for Information and Development of Women (CIDEM) reporting 29 violent deaths in January and February alone; however the death of Hanalí Huaycho provoked national outrage.
Bolivia and the Changing Shape of U.S. Power
Bolivia secured an agreement restoring relations with the United States in 2011 that registered major gains for Bolivia sovereignty. This little known development is analysed in the article below by Ethan Earle, first published in 2012 by the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).
IN NOVEMBER 2011, BOLIVIA AND THE UNITED STATES signed a "framework agreement" to resume diplomatic relations, more than three years after President Evo Morales ejected the U.S. ambassador on charges of conspiracy. In contrast to the diplomatic breakup, which made international headlines, the reconciliation, held in Washington and presided over by a Bolivian vice minister and a U.S. under secretary, was sparsely covered in the news media.
Bolivia: The Unfinished Business of Land Reform
April 1, 2013
Land reform in Bolivia, and the promise of land redistribution from wealthy latifundistas and agrobusiness elites to poor farmers and indigenous communities, has been a hallmark of President Evo Morales’s administration. Recentdata from the National Agrarian Reform Institute (INRA) provide a useful picture of what the Morales government has accomplished to date, as well as the unfinished business that lies ahead.
According to INRA, 157 million acres of land have been surveyed and titled since 1996 under Bolivia’s land regularization laws, benefiting more than 1 million people. Some 134 million acres, or 85%, have been titled during the last seven years under Morales, compared to just 23 million between 1996 and 2005 under past neoliberal governments.