La Paz.— On December 18, Bolivian President Evo Morales stated that the struggle begun 11 years ago, by social movements and the people, created a new foundation for the country, and has seen Bolivia recover its natural resources and strategic entities nationalized.
We are coming together for the first time to celebrate our process of change. We have done a great deal in a short space of time thanks to the support of social movements and the consciousness of the Bolivian people, stated the Latin American leader during a national event marking his electoral victory, 11 years ago, held in the town of Ivirgarzama in the central department of Cochabamba, reported Prensa Latina.
On December 18, 2005, Morales won 54% of votes in the country’s presidential elections, to become the Andean nation’s first indigenous head of state.
Recently, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly approved a law declaring this date Democratic Cultural Revolution Day.
Morales also recalled that from 1825 - when the Republic was founded - through 2005, the country had seen 75 presidents “who treated us like the last country in South America and second to last in Latin America.”
Regarding some of Bolivia’s key achievements over recent years, he noted increased public investment which stood at 600 million dollars in 2005, and is set to exceed eight billion next year.
The indigenous leader also recalled that the national minimum wage rose from around 50 dollars in 2005 to 270 in 2015; while over 7,000 kilometers of paved roads were laid during the same period, he stated.
Morales went on to say that a decade ago Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at around nine billion dollars, while, last year the country’s GDP surpassed 34 billion.
He noted that 1995 saw the founding of the nation’s current ruling party, the Movement Toward Socialism; a political instrument which is leading changes underway in the country, and after initially being composed of three trade union and women’s bodies, now includes over 30 national organizations.
The head of state pointed out that the government has suffered acts of aggression, provocation, and multiple coup attempts by right-wing forces backed by foreign powers. In this regard he mentioned the recall referendum of 2008, which he won with almost 67% of votes and later the coup attempt launched from prefectures in various departments and a separatist movement that was defeated.
We are anti-imperialists and anti-capitalists because attempts to destroy Bolivia were made from the United States. The powerful empires and countries of the capitalist system have always tried to dominate and humiliate us. But, we the humiliated, disrespected, marginalized, discriminated ones, have successfully organized ourselves in a political movement, to put an end to the domination and plunder, he noted.
At another point during his speech, Morales commented on the outcomes of the Ninth MAS congress, which came to an end on December 17 in the municipality of
Montero, in the eastern department of Santa Cruz.
Delegates to the event unanimously approved four legal instruments allowing the leader to run for President for a third term (2020-2025).
“If the people say yes, Evo will continue with the people to guarantee this democratic cultural revolution. Many people have convinced me that my life is not mine, but the people’s. I am obliged to submit myself to you to continue working for our beloved Bolivia, accompanied by our leaders, concluded the Latin American President.
Speaking during the act marking 11 years of the Democratic Cultural Revolution, Executive Vice President of Venezuela Aristóbulo Istúriz, also highlighted the strong links of fraternity and solidarity which unite his country and the government of Evo Morales, according to ABI.
Venezuela will always stand by the people of this Amazonic-Andean nation, stated Iztúriz who traveled to the country to participate in the act, on behalf of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
He also recalled how the peoples of Latin America have resisted economic plunder by great foreign powers, while leaders such as Rafael Correa, in Ecuador; Daniel Ortega, in Nicaragua; Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in Brazil; and Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, in Argentina, became true representatives of the people, according to Iztúriz.
Even during the most difficult times caused by global capitalism, they were able to move forward with emancipatory processes designed to benefit their peoples, an example of which is Evo Morales, in Bolivia, stated the Venezuelan leader.
Finally, Iztúriz recalled the late Hugo Chávez’s warning of difficult times ahead, and the threat of capitalism to Latin America.
We must fulfill our commitment to the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, and Comandante Hugo Chávez to guarantee the peoples the space they deserve, he stated.