Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Evo in U.S. via new media

Via Digital Warrior Media

Via KLara of the Humanist Movement

via ComunicaBolivia


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

International Support Rallies To Morales

New York: (digitalwarriormedia) Bolivian President Evo Morales received the backing of the alternative trade bloc “Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas” (ALBA) at an emergency meeting in Venezuela on Wednesday. Along with Bolivia and Venezuela ALBA also includes Nicaragua, Cuba and Dominica, all of whom signed a statement of support for Morales today in Caracas. Support needed to counter the governor of Bolivia’s most restive province of Santa Cruz with an upcoming succession vote.

On his agenda was a speech in Canada to bring attention to the struggles of a sustainable world with a combination of fossil fuels and the prospect of bio-fuels devastating & stunting the economy of world. Morales said those events were detracting from the 4% increase in Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product & the dramatic increases in Gas revenue.

Morales was abruptly diverted from international endeavors in support of Indigenous Rights, sustainable development & calling for the end to wars. Speaking at both the United Nations & the American Indian Community House, indigenous Elders were updated by the President on his efforts to provide a future for the country of 9 million, with 87% of that being Native.

The leaders of the ALBA trade bloc, conceived as an alternative to the U.S.-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas, also signed an agreement today to help increase production efficiencies of rice, beef, milk and other agricultural products amid increasing food shortages around the world.

While In New York, his Excellency President Evo Morales Aima received resounding support for his messages from a wide array of sectors. World Leaders, Indigenous Elders, United States Civic Leaders and the many of whom would swarm him as if the pope had come to town. In Evo’s case, his accessibility was for all….the press could wait….we did so respectfully.


Labels: ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Morales Addresses Indigenous Leaders at United Nations

N.Y. (digitalwarriormedia) - The Seventh Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opened Monday morning, with President Evo Morales making a special address to the collective of global indigenous leaders.

This is the first session of the Permanent Forum to be held since the passing of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Under Morales' leadership Bolivia has become the most progressive country with respects to recognizing indigenous rights and sovereignty. Bolivia was the first nation to adopt the UN Declaration into its national legal framework.

In a 45-minute speech, Morales outlayed a 10-point plan for saving life on the planet. He often drew from his own personal experiences as an indigenous leader, living and organizing in Bolivia.

He spoke of the democratic transformations taking place in Bolivian society and the role indigenous people should play in addressing climate change. Morales cited capitalism and greed as mechanisms that are responsible for great injustices against indigenous people and the world.

He reiterated an ideology that was voiced at the United Nations during the General Assembly in September 2007. At the core of his words was a recognition that the capitalist model is the root cause of inequality, poverty and the catalyst for climate change.

President Morales identified the privatization of land, water and other natural resources as part of the "inhuman" capitalist system that "exploits human beings and pillages".

"Who can hire out or privatize their Mother?" asked Morales about a system that treats the planet a good that can be bought and sold.

Although Mother Earth is in peril, he prefers to remain an optimist. However the challenge can only be met with the incorporation of indigenous knowledge and values.

He noted that for centuries indigenous people have been leaders of resistance and organized around defending their rights to land and basic services. According to Morales, as those who live in harmony with Mother Earth, indigenous people have "an ethical and moral right to talk about the environment".

In order to pay reparations to the Earth, Morales said mankind should denounce war and use the trillions of dollars spent on armaments to fund strategies that will combat environmental degradation. This would be one of the means that developed nations can address the systemic assymetry that exists among nations.

Despite speaking at the United Nations, Morales did not hold back from criticizing a body that helps perpetuate inequality among nations. He noted the undemocratic structure of the United Nations in which only certain countries have life-time membership, voting rights and veto power.

But he did recognize the need for international organizations in which indigenous people can seek and obtain a platform that will enable them to advocate for an agenda that respects Mother Earth and the rights of all living things.

Amongst his damning words of the capitalist system, Morales predicted that the food crisis would put an end to the free market. He blasted the use of land and food for luxury vehicles, stating that biofuels is a misuse of resources that leaves millions hungry while others are obese.

Several times during his speech, delegates clapped their hands in agreement and Morales received a standing ovation upon finishing his remarks.

While in the New York, Morales will take Tuesday morning to meet with the local indigenous community before heading off to Providence, Rhode Island where he will deliver a lecture at Brown University.



Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Talking but Regional Defiance Continues

Apr. 12 - (digitalwarriormedia) The next stage of talks between Bolivia’s central government and regional leadership began last week, but this time with the diplomatic assistance of the Catholic Church.

Meeting in the city of Cochabamba, at a gathering called by the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, the departmental governors of Beni, Cochabamba, Pando, Santa Cruz and Tarija convened in the Church’s first attempt to get the opposition prefects of Bolivia’s eastern regions back to the negotiation table.

Unable to meet a compromise on the demands of regional leadership for greater autonomy and control over regional resources, the central and departmental governments have been at a virtual political impasse since December.

In late March the Church agreed to mediate talks between President Morales and the nation’s departmental governors to stem the ongoing crisis. The Catholic Church wields considerable influence within Bolivian society and has successfully mediated political conflicts in the past.

President Morales, who met with church bishops a few days before the governors, has expressed a willingness to be flexible and negotiate the current situation. However he and his supporters condemn the autonomy referendums, calling them “seditious” and divisive.

Santa Cruz intends to call an autonomy referendum vote on May 4, despite rulings from Bolivia’s legislature and highest electoral court that such actions are unlawful. The other departments are expected to follow Santa Cruz’s example and hold referendum votes at later dates.

In public comments, Interior Minister Alfredo Rada announced that the Morales government intends to file a lawsuit against the authorities directing the autonomous referendums in Santa Cruz.

Minister Rada stated that if the referendum vote was actually held, then legal proceedings would start the following day.

The Church has expressed a commitment to continue the diplomatic talks, which apparently achieved little in concrete terms.

After four hours of talking with the governors: Ernesto Suarez (Beni), Manfred Reyes Villa (Cochabamba), Leopoldo Fernandez (Pando), Ruben Costas (Santa Cruz) and Mario Cossio (Tarija), the five prefects insisted on holding the autonomy votes.

At a post-meeting press conference, Santa Cruz prefect Ruben Costas announced his appreciation for the efforts of the Bolivian Catholic Church, but that the referendum developments will continue.

Meanwhile the opposition governors are expected to meet in Tarija with Dante Caputo, Secretary of Political Affairs to the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday, April 14.

In December the five governors traveled to Washington D.C. and met with representatives from the OAS, but they failed to successfully secure support for their actions in conflict with the central government.

Officials from the OAS, United Nations and European Union have called for dialogue between both sides. Italian ambassador in Bolivia, Silvio Mignano, said the EU refuses to send observers to Santa Cruz during the referendum vote if it is not held within the legality of Bolivian law.

Photo: APG Monitor