Morales Slams Supporters of Venezuela’s Opposition Plebiscite

Source:  TeleSur
July 15 2017

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Bolivia’s President Evo Morales | Photo: Reuters

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister has thanked Bolivia for the support expressed by “the great leader of South American peoples.”

A “coup attitiude” against a democratically elected government

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales says those who want to give legitimacy to Sunday’s unconstitutional plebiscite called by the Venezuelan opposition have a “coup attitiude”.

Morales made the comment on Twitter, adding that Venezuela’s government has been democratically elected and attempts to label it a dictatorship are cynical.

The opposition has been trying to gather more support for its non-binding vote on the administration of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

CNE regards the plebiscite as illegitimate

Several former regional leaders have arrived in Caracas ahead of Sunday’s unrecognized ballot.

The ex-Presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Costa Rica have been invited by the opposition-led National Assembly.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, CNE, regards the plebiscite as illegitimate.

It’s overseeing a dry run, also on Sunday, ahead of the election for the National Constituent Assembly.

OAS interfering in Venezuela’sdomestic affairs

Earlier in the week, Morales reiterated his criticism of the Organization of the American States and its Secretary General Luis Almagro for interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.

The Bolivian President said Almagro’s decision to back the plebiscite shows that individual nations’ human rights records are judged differently depending in their governments.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada responded on Twitter to say that his government was grateful for the support expressed by “the great leader of South American peoples.”

Moncada added, “Bolivia’s courage and solidarity will always remain in the memory of the Venezuelan people.”

Bolivia Fights Prison Overcrowding, Pardons 1,800 Prisoners

Source:  TeleSUR
December 25 2016

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Bolivian President Evo Morales. | Photo: Reuters

It is the fourth time President Morales has approved pardons since 2012.

Bolivian President Evo Morales pardoned around 1,800 prisoners Saturday, including pregnant women, handicapped people, inmates with minor sentences and those in custody awaiting trial.

RELATED:  Evo Morales Nominated to Run for Presidency Again in 2019

“The present decree’s aim is to give amnesty and total or partial pardons to people who have been deprived of their liberty,” he told a news conference in the central department of Cochabamba.

It is the fourth time Morales has approved pardons, a measure meant to address the issue of prison overcrowding in the country — there are about 15,000 prisoners in Bolivia, of whom less than a third have been sentenced, according to the official estimate.

Morales said that those pardoned included inmates with sentences of less than five years, one-time offenders, prisoners under the age of 28, single mothers with incarcerated children, prisoners with terminal illnesses as well as people with disabilities.

The decree will not be applied to prisoners convicted of homicide charges, terrorism, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, contraband, corruption, human trafficking, and assault on state officials.

Evo Morales: The Capitalist System Has Failed

Source:  Prensa Latina
December 12 2016

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Bolivia”s president Evo Morales today called the capitalist model a failure and criticized the policies of domination, intervention and looting in several countries around the world.

‘I feel that the capitalist system no longer has a plan and that the empire has failed,’ Morales declared in a meeting in the Foreign Ministry with the Bolivian ambassadors.

What has neoliberalism solved?

In his speech, the president recalled that these nations made believe that neoliberalism, free trade agreements and globalization were the solution for humanity.

‘That is what they sold the world. But what have they solved? Wealth continues to be concentrated in a few hands and poverty, the financial and climate crisis continues to grow,’ he warned.

Intervention for natural resources

The president criticized the intervention of the United States in the countries of the Middle East to control natural resources, which only leads to destabilization.

‘As long as the capitalist system or imperialism exists, foreign interference will continue,’ he added.

The leader also referred to the economic problems in European countries and the political situation in other nations that spend months without president.

Bolivia doing well

‘Aside from the international crisis and the fall in the price of oil, Bolivia is doing well and international organizations agree that the country will experience the most economic growth in South America,’ the president said.

He added that despite the severe drought, the prices of staple foods did not rise, thanks to irrigation and drinking water programs implemented by the Government.

‘With planning and investment it is possible to solve the country’s challenges,’ he said.

In hydrocarbons alone, Morales said, investments rose from 200 million dollars in 1985 to over 2 billion dollars a year in the last decade.

As for the minimum wage, it grew from 54 to 264 dollars a month.

After almost 11 years the support the Bolivian people have in their head of state continues.

Bolivia Has Cut Extreme Poverty in Half Since 2006

Source:  TeleSUR
August 30 2016

More than 2 million Bolivians have come out of extreme poverty in the last decade

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Aymara women stand at a fair held on the side of the Cholita fashion show at Villa Esperanza. | Photo: Reuters

Bolivia’s rapid economic transformation

Bolivia’s economy is on course to grow by 5 percent this year, placing it among the top performers in Latin America. It’s a sign of Bolivia’s rapid economic transformation in South America. Another indicator is falling poverty rates. When Evo Morales took office in 2006 the rate of extreme poverty was 38.2 percent. In 2016, that figure is now 16.8 percent.

RELATED: Vast Majority of Bolivians Back Evo Morales’ Administration

“More than 2 million people have left extreme poverty,” says Deputy Minister of Budget and Fiscal Accounting, Jaime Durán. A decade ago Bolivia was considered Latin America’s poorest country “Our economy was compared with African nations and not with those of the region,” claimed Durán.

World Bank: Bolivia is a world champion in revenue growth for the poor

A recent World Bank report confirmed that Bolivia is a world champion in revenue growth for the poorest 40 percent of its population. “It is one of the most important legacies of this this government,” said Minister Duran in a press briefing.

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Many residents of District 5 in El Alto have left extreme poverty. | Photo: teleSUR

Communities like District 5, in the city of El Alto near La Paz, are slowly beginning to reap the benefits of Bolivia’s commodities boom. “Twenty-five years ago, when I started working here, there were no paved roads, no sports centers and no parks,” said community representative Fanny Nina.

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Council Representative Fanny Nina says there have been huge improvements in the past decade. | Photo: teleSUR

While poverty and crime are still problems, “there have also been many improvements that have benefited my friends and neighbors,” Nina said. The residents of this small, remote town have access to better infrastructure, schools and potable water. “But we still have to fight the council for everything and we always need more.”

RELATED: Evo Morales Hails the Struggle of Bolivia’s Indigenous Groups

Extreme poverty has not been eradicated completely in District 5, but local representatives like Fanny are determined to make people’s lives better.

Every year we see more changes for the better

The community still has its fair share of social problems, but “every year we see more changes for the better,” one resident told teleSUR as we accompanied Fanny Nina on one of her weekly walkabouts. Cholitas are still selling on the streets, but now they sell alone while their children attend school. “This used to be the exception, not the rule,” Fanny told me in between dealing with the demands of her constituents.

evo wins a third term 2.jpgBolivia’s socialist government has ambitious plans to bring even more people out of extreme poverty. Low-income residents like those in District 5 are the main targets. “By 2020, we will reduce extreme poverty to 9.5 percent,” President Evo Morales has said.

In 2005, the richest 10 percent of the population had 128 times the wealth of the poorest 10 percent. In 2015, this gap was reduced to 37 times.

The government expects moderate poverty to drop to 24 percent and the inequality of income between the richest and the poorest to decrease to 25 times over the next five years. “There is a strong emphasis on industrialization and in building a society where not only poverty is eradicated, but where we also see social changes,” Bolivia’s Minister for Development René Orellana, said.

Bolivian Opposition Leader Admits Election Plotting with US Embassy

Source:  TeleSUR
June 8 2016

Bolivian lawmaker Rafael Quispe has held talks with the U.S. government in order to formulate a political strategy for the country’s next elections.

rafael quispeBolivian lawmaker from the National Unity (UN) opposition Party, Rafael Quispe revealed on Tuesday that he held secret meeting with the U.S. embassy officials in order to construct a political platform for the general elections in 2019.

During a radio interview, Quispe went on to point out that the country’s current opposition leaders including Samuel Doria Medina and former president Jorge Quiroga did not participate in the gatherings, given that U.S. officials did not consider them to be a “viable” option.

RELATED:  Bolivian Ex-President Implicated in Corruption Report

“Yes, we met with the U.S. embassy, but not with the other opposition leaders, because (for) the Embassy and for the country, Tuto (Jorge Quiroga) and Samuel Doria Medina are not politically viable, but our political project is an option,” Quispe said in an interview with Radio Fides.

Current President Evo Morales was re-elected head-of-state in general elections in 2014. Morales beat the second place candidate, conservative businessman, Samuel Doria Medina of the Democratic Union party, who only captured 25.07 percent of the popular vote. Former president Jorge Quiroga took third place, with 9.44 percent of the national vote.

Quispe added that his political platform will include the country’s “indigenous and mestizo” population. He also stated that he had also met with officials from the other embassies in order to strengthen bilateral relations.

Not the first time the U.S. has been accused of unduly interfering and influencing Bolivian domestic politics

This not the first time the U.S. has been accused of unduly interfering and influencing Bolivian domestic politics. Last February, Bolivian officials accused the United States of sending social media experts to his country to help the opposition during the recent campaign to determine if term limits would be altered.

Quispe along with his wife were recently implicated in a major corruption scandal involving a Bolivian-based foundation known as the Indigenous Fund. Prosecutors allege that Quispe and his wife were linked to at least five phantom development projects that were sponsored b

Evo Morales Awarded the Jose Marti Order in Cuba

Source:  TeleSUR
May 21 2016

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The Bolivian president will hold talks with his Cuban colleague Raul Castro. He praised Cuba’s solidarity with Bolivia despite the U.S. blockade.

Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Cuba this Friday for a visit aimed at reviewing the current state of bilateral relations and assess options aimed at expanding cooperation between the two nations, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported.

During his visit, Morales will pay tribute this Friday to Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, at the Revolution Square.

The Bolivian head of state is also scheduled to meet with President, Raul Castro to hold talks on the relations between the two socialist governments.

Latin America and the Caribbean integration

Both presidents will analyze ideas and new programs for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Morales will be awarded the Jose Marti Order, the highest distinction bestowed by the Cuban Council of State, and later he will carry out other activities, Prensa Latina said.

Before departing Bolivia, Morales spoke of the importance of the figure and teachings of the former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who he described as the most solidary man in the world.

Morales praised the Cuban government for providing assistance to Bolivia despite the fact that the Caribbean island nation is under an over five-decade U.S.-imposed blockade.

 

Evo Morales: We will continue governing in the interest of the poor and marginalized

Source:  TeleSUR
24 February 2016

evo morales 20.jpgBolivian President Evo Morales | Photo: EFE

Bolivian President Evo Morales acknowledged the country’s national referendum results on Wednesday.

The Bolivian government promised its supporters Wednesday that it would continue to adopt progressive political policies, despite the outcome of the country’s national referendum.

We may have lost a battle, but not the war

“We may have lost a battle, but not the war,” said President Evo Morales, referring to the national referendum results on presidential term limits, which prevents the Bolivian leader from running for reelection in 2019.

RELATED: Evo Morales Won’t Run in 2019, But MAS Will Carry-On

During a press conference Wednesday, President Morales acknowledged the referendum results but promised to continue governing in the “interests of the poor and marginalized.”

Right-wing opposition’s coordinated media campaign

In his speech, Morales accused right-wing opposition groups of launching a coordinated media campaign in efforts to undermine and discredit his administration.

“Some media outlets fulfilled the interests of political parties,” Morales stated.

RELATED: Bolivia Referendum ‘No’ Vote Narrowly Wins Over ‘Yes’ by 2%

Moving forward, Morales announced that various high-ranking members from his administration will meet with leaders from Bolivian social movements in order to evaluate the political implications following the referendum outcome.

Official final results will not be announced until Thursday. However, with 99.5 percent of the votes counted, the “No” side holds a 3 percent lead over the “Yes” with 51.3 percent versus 48.7 percent.