March 4 – The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, warned yesterday that democracy in his country had been strengthened, and that, in the case of an attack by “an international organisation” would be defended by Bolivians.
The head of state issued this warning in the city of El Alto - one of the cities that most fervently support his government - shortly before beginning a long trip to Japan for an official visit.
In his speech on the anniversary of the founding of El Alto, Morales fired his latest shot against the recent report from the US Intelligence Services that alerted the US Senate to the fact that democracy “was in risk” in Bolivia and Venezuela.
Last Friday, the Bolivian socialist leader noted with irony; “the US Intelligence is lacking intelligence because it not only lies to its government, but also misinforms the world”.
On the contrary to the US report, Morales sustained that in Bolivia democracy “has been strengthened” since he assumed power in January 2006.
He added that “some international organisations want to end democracy”, but he assured that the army, that was previously responsible for coups, and the police “identify themselves with their people and with the transformations” beginning pushed forward since a year ago.
“I feel that if some international organisations have the opinion that democracy is in risk [it is because] perhaps they want to conspire against democracy from outside and not from inside”, he pointed out.
He affirmed, “any provocation or external aggression would be opportunely defended, rejected. We are no longer in the times of years ago” he added, alluding to the period of dictatorships that Bolivia lived through between 1964 and 1982.
He used the occasion to repeat his request to the population of El Alto, the city that sparked the popular mobilisation against the government of ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada in 2003, to help him lead the country.
He said that in his first year in government he had learnt to understand the country and signaled that governmental results would be better if the trade union, neighbourhood and popular leaders helped him with recommendations and corrections for his work.
Support amongst campesinos and miners
Although he heads the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), a party launched by the trade unions of coca growing campesino, Morales also puts down his popular support to an alliance with agrarian unions, neighbourhood committees and indigenous communities, amongst others.
He asked the alteños to “complement us in order to advance in the deep changes, so that Bolivia, with the little that we are doing, can really be a model country to all the world, one which defend life, that is orientated to saving humanity, the planet”.
The Bolivian president has blamed the rich nations for natural disasters caused by climate change, due to their “excessive” eagerness for “industrialisation that affects the planet tremendously” due to its contaminating gases.
Since last December, Bolivia has been hit by intense rains in the tropical and central regions and, at the same time, by frost and drought in the western zone, with elevated damage and loses in agriculture, cattle ranches and highways.Translated from El Nuevo Diario