Struggle for nationalization of gas translates into Juancito Pinto Bonus

The payment of the bonus has strengthened the relationship and coming together of the armed forces with the people.

El Alto, Nov 12, (ABI) – For the president of the republic, Evo Morales, the struggle of the people from El Alto for the “nationalization of hydrocarbons” in 2003 was not in vain because the Juancito Pinto bonus is one of the first fruits of this struggle, benefiting those children that were forgotten by the state.

On Sunday the state began to pay the social debt owed to the children of Bolivia and the government of president Evo Morales opened its first chapter in this challenge, which will be extended to the youth who will also receive the economic resources reaped as a result of the nationalization of gas.

In the north and south of this city, the payment of the bonus was initiated simultaneously in 25 schools. At the school, Rafael Pabon, the children in years one to five at the primary schools, 12 de Octobre and Villa Tunari, were organized by functionaries from the National Direction of Communication in order to receive the bonus of 200 bolivianos [US$25]

Henry Apaza Pabon (9) from fifth grade at the school Villa Tunari, accompanied by his mother, Marcelina Pabon, was the first to receive the bonus from General Jose Ibanez, Head of Department III of Operations for the Bolivian Armed Forces.

At 11am, on entering the school theatre at Rafael Pabon from the 1st Aerial Brigade of this city, the head of state was met by thousands of children, banners in hand, shouted: Evo….Evo….Evo, and Garcia….Garcia.

The sense of joy, satisfaction and emotion could be noted on the faces of the head of state as well as the vice president Alvaro Garcia Linera, not only due to the demonstration of love by the children but also because they could sense the expectation in the children who were about to receive the sum of 200 bolivianos from the Juancito Pinto bonus, which would help them cover their most pressing needs regarding their studies.

Both authorities were accompanied by the minister of Defense, Walker San Miguel, of Housing, Alberto Arce; Education, Felix Patzi; the Commander General of the Army, General Freddy Bersatti; of the Naval Force, Vice Admiral Jose Alba; the Commander of the 1st Aerial Brigade, Colonel Roger Gandarillas; and the mayor of the municipality of El Alto.

For the mayor of the municipality of El Alto, Fanor Nava and the parents of the families, this was the best gift that the government was giving out, which would benefit the future of Bolivia. Joining in the chorus of gratitude, Iris Gabriela Ramos and Bernabe Mayta, both emotionally added their desire that God bless and enlightened the president in order to guide the country down the right path.

On this occasion, there was no lack of poetry, delivered in Spanish and Aymara by the child Felix Mamani Mayta, who referred to the Pachamama, children and their necessities, concluding with an off the cuff one about Evo Morales.

In the midst of the applause for the president, Morales stated that the money from the Juancito Pinto bonus was a product of the nationalization of hydrocarbons and the struggle by the parents of El Alto and Bolivians, which in 2003 demanded the nationalization of hydrocarbons and gas.

What Bolivians had been asking for, the government complied with, he emphasized, insisting that the Juancito Pinto bonus came as a result of the nationalization of hydrocarbons

He used the opportunity to thank the people of El Alto for the support he received in the presidential elections of December 2005. For the president, this support was not in vain, nor was the struggle for the nationalization of hydrocarbons.

Recalling his infancy and the sacrifices that his parents had made in order to acquire school equipment, he recommended they make good use of the 200 bolivianos to buy articles of clothing and school books.

He announced that the next challenge would be to work for the youth in the intermediary and middle levels of school, given that the country now has money, due to the reserves in the Central Bank of Bolivia having increased from US$1,700 million to $3,000 million.

The payment of the Juancito Pinto bonus, which strengthened the relationship and coming together of the armed forces with the people, was pointed to by the head of state, assuring that military personnel had contributed in the distribution of the bonus.

Rejecting rumors that the government was militarizing the schools, he left it clear that his government would not use the armed forces nor the national police in a bad way, because they belonged to the people.

With this explanation, the president proceeded to pay the Juancito Pinto bonus to the child, Cesar Chambi Mendizabal, from “A” 5th grade at the school 12 de Octobre, whose mother, Maria Lourder, gave thanks for this support which was so necessary for those from poor homes.

Translated from Agencia Boliviana de Informacion

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