Chávez lives on in the unity of revolutionaries

Source:  Granma
March 12 2018

Fidel, Raúl, Chávez and Maduro: Four giants of our time. Photo: Anabel Díaz

Five years after his passing, neither the figure or legacy of Hugo Chávez have been forgotten, because the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, together with other liberators who have passed through these lands, will be there right beside progressive forces in his country and Our America as they continue their struggles.

From his native Venezuela to Cuba, which welcomed him as a son, various tributes were held to recall not the death, but the life of this tireless revolutionary.

In the Cuban capital, Chávez was honored in a ceremony at the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, which saw the participation of Dr. Eusebio Leal, Havana City Historian; Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba Alí Rodríguez Araque; members of the diplomatic corps and various friends of the Bolivarian Revolution.

There, Leal, one of the first Cubans to meet Comandante Chávez, recalled the conversation he had with the Venezuelan leader during their last encounter, during which Chávez stated: “I want to live, for my homeland and for Cuba.”

Nor could the historian forget to mention the strong ties between two great men that fought for Cuba and Latin American and Caribbean integration, recalling the great friendship that existed between these “two forces of nature” – Chávez and Fidel Castro.

Such was the strength of the bond between Chávez and Cuba, that Fidel described the former President of Venezuela as the island’s greatest friend, the Cuba intellectual recalled, who went on to note that despite having other friends and acquaintances, some self-interested, Cuba never had as good and selfless a friend as Chávez.

Just like every March 5, the people of Venezuela gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to Chávez.Photo: AVN

A man who stood in solidarity with the people of Latin America, we are indebted to Chávez, and it is our moral duty not to betray him, stated Leal.

The Havana City Historian, citing José Martí, stressed that “Death is not real when one’s life work is fulfilled,” and explained, in a touching speech, that we must remember the victorious Chávez; the Chávez that in the midst of a torrential downpour, and in ill health, was able to give everything and draw strength from his own weakness.

Meanwhile, the people of Venezuela awoke early this Monday, to commemorate five years since the passing of Comandante Hugo Chávez, and just like every March 5, they gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to the man, father, friend and Bolivarian leader.

Also present there just before the beginning of the 15th ALBA-TCP Summit, was another key figure of Latin American and Caribbean integration and dear friend of Chávez, Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Regarding his comrade in the struggle, the indigenous leader had nothing but words of praise: “We will never again see these qualities anywhere in the world.”

And there, just as happens every day at the Cuartel de la Montaña, also known as Cuartel 4F – in reference to the civil-military rebellion led by Chávez on February 4, 1992 – a canon salute was held at 4:25 p.m., marking the time the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution died.

Heads of State attending the 15th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement at Miraflores Palace, as well as people from across the world, also paid tribute to Chávez this March 5.

In Nicaragua, thousands of citizens including members of government and Sandinista youth, gathered in the center of Managua, where a rose was laid in remembrance of a great friend of the country and of President Daniel Ortega.

Meanwhile, a photographic exhibition was inaugurated at the Venezuelan Embassy in Beijing, featuring images of the Cuartel de la Montaña, where the remains of the Bolivarian Comandante rest.

Social media also offered a platform to remember and honor Chávez, with users sending heartfelt messages under the hashtag #A5AñosDeTuSiembraComandante throughout the day.

Bolivia: Evo Morales Presents Govt. Progress Report

Source:  TeleSUR
January 22 2018

The Indigenous leader showed a graph with data proving that Bolivia is the “first in economic growth in all of South America.”

evo morales feb 2018.jpg

Bolivian President Evo Morales. | Photo: Reuters

Bolivian President Evo Morales has presented a report on government progress under his administration to the country’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly on the 12th anniversary of its foundation.

RELATED:  Bolivia’s Infant Mortality Rate Significantly Reduced by 56%

“There are already 12 years of social and political stability, 12 years of the formation of the Plurinational State, and I am here to give an account to all the Bolivian people,” Morales said, thanking those who accompanied him during his administration.

The people came to power

The head of state said “the presence of assembly members of all colors, of all sectors, is proof that the people came to power.”

Morales said that his country’s economic, political and social achievements have made Bolivia one of the fastest-developing and improving economies in South America.

“We have showed that our beloved Bolivia is moving forward. We have important data from international organizations where we demonstrate the growth of our nation and the union of the Bolivian people.”

First in economic growth

The Indigenous president showed a graph with data from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund proving that Bolivia is the “first in economic growth in all of South America.”

He compared growth between 1994-2005 to 2006-2017, pointing out that GDP boosted significantly during his tenure.

“Despite international economic onslaught, we continue to grow and become one of the economic engines of Latin America,” Morales said.

The Bolivian leader also highlighted government support for public investment, demonstrating that the central government supported governorates, municipalities and universities in the execution of their projects.

The new Bolivia continues to advance with Evo Morales

Source:  Granma
October 18, 2017

by: Joaquín Rivery Tur |

Over a decade ago, when the government of Evo Morales took office in Bolivia, only 40,000 Bolivians received gas at home. Today, 3.5 million have access to the service where they  live.

evo morales oct 2017.jpgPresident Evo Morales has served the country for 11 years, despite fierce
opposition from the local oligarchy and the U.S. 

Over a decade ago, when the government of Evo Morales took office in Bolivia, only 40,000 Bolivians received gas at home. Today, 3.5 million have access to the service where they live.

The nationalization of the hydrocarbon industry in 2006 resulted in economic progress for Bolivia. It allowed the country to multiply national gas export revenues from two billion dollars in 2005, to 31.5 billion dollars in 2016.

The local oligarchy conspired with the U.S. embassy in the Andean nation to overthrow the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) led government, but failed.

The Bolivian government was forced to expel the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. ambassador, for their interference in the country’s internal affairs.

According to studies, especially those carried out by Canadian firm GLJ Consultants, its is estimated that in the next five years Bolivia’s proven natural gas reserves will increase to 17.45 trillion cubic feet, and production levels will be at a minimum of 73 million cubic meters per day.

Bolivia at the forefront of regional economic growth

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) places Bolivia at the forefront of regional economic growth in its latest report. In 2016, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was 4.3%, while the Ministry of Economy has forecast 4.7% growth for this year.

One of the most important projects underway in the country is the construction of the first polypropylene and propylene plant, to be established in the province of Gran Chaco, located in southern Bolivia, indicative of the industrialization and diversification of the national economy, alongside lithium industry projects.

The President of the state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Guillermo Achá, explained that the polypropylene plant will create at least 1,000 direct jobs, and some 10,000 further positions related to the petrochemical complex – thus alleviating one of the country’s endemic problems: unemployment. The mega project has seen investment of over 500 million dollars.

The Plurinational State is also developing significant new energy generation projects, including the building of hydroelectric power plants in Carrizal, Cambarí, and Huacata; expansion of the Termoeléctrica del Sur power station; wind power generation in La Ventolera; solar power in the highlands; and projects for internal industrial development, and even for energy exports.

Nationalization vastly more beneficial than privatization

Meanwhile, YPFB statistics show that the nationalization of natural resources has generated $31.5 billion dollars over the past 10 years, far more than the $2.5 billion that was collected in the same period under privatization.

Undeniably, the population of this new Bolivia has seen their living standards greatly improved, with the construction of roads, schools, hospitals, and sports centers. Hundreds of thousands of Bolivians have recovered their sight thanks to Operation Miracle, the ophthalmologic rehabilitation program promoted by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

The local pro-U.S. oligarchy continues its plans to regain power, especially those in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the capital of the country’s largest constituent department, where plots to overthrow the government have been prepared with the participation of foreign mercenaries.

Separatist opposition movements have also tried unsuccessfully to separate the departments of Pando, Beni, Santa Cruz, and Tarija (known as the “half moon” due to their overall shape) from Bolivia.

It’s no secret that when Evo Morales assumed office on January 22, 2006, many did not believe he would be able to complete his presidential term, let alone do so as successfully. However, the first indigenous President of Bolivia is now the longest serving head of state of the country.

None of his predecessors in the position were able to secure an electoral victory for three consecutive terms, or maintain such high approval ratings among the Bolivian people. (With information from teleSUR)

Bolivia enacts law to provide job stability for the disabled

Source:  Granma
September 27 2017

By TeleSUR English |

evo morales sept 2017 2.jpgMorales signed the new statute during a ceremony at Government Palace in La Paz. Photo: EFE

Under the new law, 4% of the public sector workforce must be disabled men and women.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has enacted a law to guarantee job stability for workers with serious disabilities.

The law also establishes a job quota for disabled people and offers a monthly payment of US$36 for those who are no longer able to work.

Morales signed the new statute during a ceremony at Government Palace in La Paz, which was attended by the nation’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, as well as ministers, ruling party lawmakers and representatives of disabled people.

It is a joy for me to enact this law

In his address, the president said: “it is a joy for me to enact this law” for the disabled, adding that the payment of US$36 a month will be financed by municipal governments with the support of the central government.

“This ruling also affects employers: 4 percent of those employed by the public sector and 2 percent employed by the private sector must be disabled men and women,” he said.
According to statistics provided this week by the Health Ministry, there were 67,912 disabled persons registered in the country by December 2016.

Of that number, 46,062 had serious or very serious disabilities and will benefit from the new job quotas, while those unable to work will receive monthly payments.  Those eligible to receive the benefits must register with the Ministry of Health’s Sole Disabled Persons Register and possess an up-to-date disability card.

People with vision problems who are registered with the Bolivian Blindness Institute are excluded from the monthly payment as they already receive support from the state, but they will be able to benefit from the job quotas, the Health Ministry said.

The monthly municipal payment will take effect in 2018. In the meantime, the government will continue the annual solidarity payments of almost US$144 to the sector, the ministry said.

In 2016, hundreds of disabled persons fought the Bolivian government to demand the annual payment be substituted by a monthly payment of US$72.

Bolivia’s President Morales Says Hurricanes are Product of Capitalism

Source:  TeleSUR
September 9 2017

evo morales sept 2017.jpgThe Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks during a ceremony in
Potosi, Bolivia. | Photo: Reuters

Morales has long identified the system as the root cause of climate change.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales says the devastating hurricanes hitting Caribbean nations over the last week are caused by pollution created by the capitalist system, and is urging countries to implement the policies of the Paris Climate Deal.

RELATED:   Bolivia’s Morales Says ‘Most Polluted, Industrialized’ US Cannot Deny its Environmental Damage

“It is urgent to retake the Paris Agreement,” Morales wrote on his official Twitter account. “The world calls for peace between brotherly peoples and not walls against human beings.”

The Bolivian president also welcomed the comments made by Pope Francis during his visit to Colombia, calling for “a reconciliation with Mother Earth.”

Morales said the world is demanding peace between peoples, and not walls, such as the one that President Donald Trump wants to build on the U.S.-Mexican border.

In June, Trump announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris agreement.

He said moves to negotiate a new “fair” deal that would not disadvantage U.S. businesses and workers would begin.

Only three sovereign nations are not part of the accord, which aims to stem global warming.

Of the other two, Nicaragua feels the agreement does not go far enough, and Syria remains mired in a civil war.

“It is urgent to retake the Paris Agreement. The world calls for peace between brotherly peoples and not walls against human beings.”

At the the COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015, Morales had blamed capitalism for environmental destruction, calling it “the formula that has destroyed our species.”

Just back in July, the Bolivian leader had also remarked that “the U.S., the most industrialized and most polluted country in the world, cannot deny its responsibility for the damage it causes to the environment.”

Bolivia Slashes Chronic Malnutrition in Children by Nearly 50 Percent

Source:  TeleSUR
September 7 2017

children eat.jpgChildren eat in front of a huge pile of bananas in La Paz, Bolivia. | Photo: Reuters

Earlier this week, the government announced it had decreased the infant mortality rate in the country by 52 percent.

Bolivia has slashed chronic malnutrition in children under five years old by almost half, with a reduction in cases from 32.3 percent to 16 percent.

RELATED:   Bolivia Slashes Infant Mortality Rate by 52 Percent

The findings, a part of the National Demographic and Health Survey, also reported that in the case of children 23 months and six years old, chronic malnutrition was reduced from 25.1 percent to 15.2 percent.

The head of the Food and Nutrition Unit, Yecid Humacayo, said this was made possible through the government-initiated National Food and Nutrition Council, which was created with the participation of 10 ministries. The Council promoted several programs such as the Multisectoral Zero Malnutrition Program and the Law No .775 Promotion of Healthy Eating.

The country’s “My Health” program evaluated the nutrition of  some 1,797,460 children under five years of age in order to determine the figures.

salud bolivia 2.jpg

“#MyHealth provides educational talk to primary school children about adequate hand-washing and de-worming in #Siberia #Comarapa #SantaCruz”

Just this week, Bolivia’s health ministry also announced it had drastically reduced its infant mortality rate, by a staggering 52 percent between 2008 and 2016.

The ministry said on Monday that the deaths of children under one year old in Bolivia has fallen from 50 to 24 per 1000 births.

It had added that the percentage of pregnant women who were attended to during childbirth by healthcare personnel also increased from 71.1 percent in 2008, to 89.9 percent in 2016.

The South American nation has some ground-breaking health care programs in place.

Under the “My Health” program — launched by leftist President Evo Morales in June 2013 — all treatment is provided free of charge for residents in some of Bolivia’s poorest communities. The main beneficiaries are patients on low incomes who would otherwise not be able to pay to see the doctor and get prescription medication.

Over the last four years, doctors have seen more than 7.8 million patients and saved more than 17,000 lives.

Bolivia Slashes Infant Mortality Rate by 52 Percent

Source:  TeleSUR
September 4  2017

bolivia slashes infant mortality rate.jpgMillions of women have benefitted under government healthcare
programs. | Photo: Reuters

Bolivia has some precedent-setting health care programs in place under President Evo Morales.

Bolivia has drastically reduced its infant mortality rate – by a staggering 52 percent between 2008 and 2016 – according to the country’s health ministry.

RELATED: Bolivia’s ‘My Health’ Offers 8 Million Patients Free Healthcare

The Juana Azurduy Bonus

The ministry said Monday that the deaths of children under one year old in Bolivia has fallen from 50 to 24 per 1000 births.

It added that the percentage of pregnant women who were attended to during childbirth by healthcare personnel also increased from 71.1 percent in 2008, to 89.9 percent in 2016.

The government’s health department said that these achievements are due in part to the payments under the Juana Azurduy Bonus, an economic incentive program for pregnant women in the country.

With this initiative, 1.7 million women have benefitted, with nearly 291,000 women also having been provided for under the system of universal prenatal care.

Adolescent pregnancy prevention campaign

Moreover, the Ministry of Health has introduced the adolescent pregnancy prevention campaign, which has targeted more than 840,000 secondary school students in the nation.

Bolivia has some ground-breaking health care programs in place.

Under the country’s “My Health” program — launched by leftist President Evo Morales in June 2013 — all treatment is provided free of charge for residents in some of Bolivia’s poorest communities. The main beneficiaries are patients on low incomes who would otherwise not be able to pay to see the doctor and get prescription medication.

Over the last four years, doctors have seen more than 7.8 million patients and saved more than 17,000 lives.