Evo Morales Defends New Bolivian Armed Forces Slogan

La Paz, Mar 12 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales defended on Friday the new Armed Forces slogan: Homeland or Death, we Shall Overcome! entailing a deep commitment with the change process begun in 2006, highlighted he.

The president told media in a press conference in Quemado Palace that the slogan reflects wishes to die for the homeland, as says one of the national anthem’s verses, “Morir antes que esclavos vivir” (to die before being slaves), which will be pronounced in military and public-spirited ceremonies this year.

Morales ruled out before media the possibility of carrying out a popular survey about the slogan’s acceptance, which he has already consulted the high military commands..

The president also criticized the military institution’ ex chief, the opposition senator and retired general Marcelo Antezana, who questions the General of the Armed Forces’ decision.

“They are incapable of understanding the homeland’s meaning”, stated Morales, who added that the new slogan will not replace the traditional slogan: “subordinación y constancia” (subordination and confidence), which expresses the necessary discipline in the military commanders. Morales recalled that the majors opposite to the change process in the military doctrines are those who gave the Chinese antiaircraft missiles to the United States during the Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze’s government (2005-2006).

In the meantime, the president highlighted the Executive’s decision of modernizing the Armed Forces and released the purchase of helicopters to defend the homeland better.

The general attorney’s office will sanction severely the ex military chiefs who have took part in separatist plans in Bolivia, Morales said.

The Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said on Thursday that the new slogan sums up struggle and efforts made by the Bolivians generations during the independence struggle against the Spanish colonialism.

The Minister of Defense Ruben Saavedra said that the slogan will be added to the disciplinary traditions of the Bolivian Army.

Saavedra highlighted that the Armed Forces are part of the Bolivian people and are also an important factor to the comprehensive development because that institution takes part in the social policies actively.

1 comment:

Pablo Rivero said...

I complete acknowledge the nature and soul of this article. Nevertheless, there are couple of aspects that should be add and correct.

Firstly, the Bolivian Armed Forces traditional slogan "subordinación y constancia" is better translated as "subordination and perseverance" rather than confidence.

Secondly, the newly adopted slogan, Patria o Muerte, venceremos! (Homeland or death, we shall overcome!) is attributed to the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara, ironically murdered by Bolivian Armed Forces in 1967 (http://www.eluniverso.com/2010/03/13/1/1361/morales-implanta-lema-patria-muerte-ffaa.html). Moreover, this act has constantly underline by the Army as a military triumph over the foreign invasion of communist in Bolivia.

Regarding that contradiction, we could celebrate the ideological "shift" adopted by Bolivian Armed Forces as well as it's democratic commitment. However, and this is my third observation, what in fact Bolivian people is expecting from the Armed Forces is the declassification of their secret files, in particular those containing vital information about the torture, murder, and the disappearance of the body of socialist leader Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz in 1980.

Thank you for allowing my comment.