Evo Morales declares himself an admirer of Che Guevara

Rosa Rojas, La Jornada

La Paz, October 2 – Bolivian President, Evo Morales, commented on Tuesday that he was an admirer of the mythical Argentine-Cuban guerrilla fighter Ernesto Guevara, although he pointed out that “the only difference I would have with Che is that he searched for equality, justice with a gun in his hand”.

During the press conference with foreign correspondents, Morales confirmed that he would attend the acts of commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Che Guevara, next weekend, which diverse national and international organisations are preparing in the towns of La Higuera and Vallegrande.

The head of state commented that “during the decades of the ‘50s and ‘60s, the people took up arms against the empire, but now, in this new millennium, it is the empire which is taking up its arms of war against the peoples”.

He added: “We should not fall into this trap, this provocation by the empire, what we are seeing now is that by relying on the consciousness of the people, relying on the social movements, democratic revolutions can be carried out peacefully, although this will always be costly because not everyone will want to leave behind and abandon their privileges”.

In response to the proposition that there was talk of discontent over this “commendation” by the armed forces for the commemoration and because they felt abandoned, Morales answered that he did not know of any such discontent. “If they are commendable then surely they have their recognition which is sufficient”, he pointed out.

On Sunday, the newspaper El Deber published declarations made by General Juan Carlos Monje, who until recently was the “coordinator of the commemorations of the 40 years since the victory of the armed forces over the leftist guerrilla fighters”, where he sustained that “soldiers from this country, especially the National Confederation of ex-combatants of Ñancahuazú, are hurt by the ingratitude towards the 55 men who dies defending Bolivia from the ‘invader’ Ernesto Che Guevara, between March 23 and October 8 of 1967”.

Monje said that the acts in homage of those fallen soldiers from 40 years ago, which should have been held on the 8 and 9 of this month in Vallegrande and La Higuera, “were suspended due to reasons of greater force”.

Meanwhile, the intense smoke produced by the chaqueos (controlled burnings for agricultural purposes) are affecting more than half of the country’s territory and forces the suspension of landings in the international airport of Viru Viru and El Trompillo, in the city of Santa Cruz.

Translated from La Jornada

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