Evo to accelerate decolonization

Bolpress, January 22

President Evo Morales announced that in his third year of office he will accelerate the program of structural transformation and the “decolonization” of the State with the help of a National Commission for Change, which will out-rank the cabinet of ministers and will not necessarily be made up of Movement Toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS) party activists. One of its first measures will be the reversion and expropriation of lands controlled by ranchers who enslave the indigenous of the Chaco region of Bolivia.

The decolonization of Bolivia, a process that is already irreversible, is not mere political discourse, but instead is a painful reality that must be confronted with courage. The only way to transform the State is to heal the deep wounds that colonialism has inflicted on Latin America. The Bolivian people have taken up this challenge and therefore foreign nations will "never again" be able to impose their will, emphasized Morales in his report on the first two years of his mandate presented to Congress today.

The President called on ranchers to free the captive indigenous of the Chaco region and to hand them over a piece of land. He threatened to expropriate and redistribute the lands of those who continue to enslave the indigenous,” Defending the people’s rights, we are obligated to expropriate and redistribute lands to put an end to the enslavement of families of Chaco." Thousands of Guarani families remain enslaved without land, without salary, and without enjoying basic rights such as freedom of expression. Although it seems unbelievable, to speak with one of these individuals one must ask permission from their boss. "We have begun a long journey of change in hopes of giving a future to this country that was mortgaged to foreign interests, fully dependent and in which we were victims of intervention," affirmed Morales. He assured that initial steps have been taken towards returning dignity to the country and providing it with a strategy of sovereign development.

The basic programs of his 2005 electoral campaign such as the nationalization of hydrocarbons, the installation of a Constituent Assembly, and many other regulations on development have already been fulfilled. According to Morales, the philosophical principal of the National Development Plan is to rescue the wisdom of the native communities, which promote equitable distribution of goods and natural resources and collective “well-being” without taking advantage of others.

The government is prepared to defend at the polls their economic and social measures, which are resisted by racist and intolerant conservative forces that prefer to return to the neocolonial past.
Vice-Presidente Álvaro García Linera identified four central themes of the new pluri-cultural and inclusive State: the State as protagonist of the economy; the equitable redistribution of national wealth with preference to the most marginalized; equality among the diverse peoples and cultures of Bolivia and the right of the indigenous communities to take part in the State’s decision making; and the autonomy of the national government.

Translated from Bolpress by Dawn Gable

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