Photo: Sergio Alejandro Gómez

MANAGUA.— President Evo Morales arrived in Managua on July 19, to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution alongside the Nicaraguan people, and interact with participants to the 23rd meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, which brought together leftist parties and movements from the region, through July 18.

“Many of us current Presidents are a product of these forums,” he stated, in an interview with Granma, teleSUR, and Prensa Latina.
Morales went on to recall the dozens of political and social meetings he attended during his time as a trade union leader. “It was a great school of permanent debate about the liberation of our peoples.”

The Bolivian leader, who has become a symbol for the international left and social movements, spoke about the days when he could hardly afford to attend events such as the Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo forums.

“As authorities, it is important that we accompany these Latin American segments.”

The Our America Consensus, the Sao Paulo Forum’s first programmatic document, was recently approved in the Nicaraguan capital.

“Now is the best time to unite and re-launch our struggle,” noted the Andean leader, who does not believe that acts of aggression against progressive countries are isolated incidents, but a clear strategy to reverse the processes of change underway in the region.

He also compared the current situation in Venezuela with Western intervention in Libya, which saw the North African country torn apart, destroying all of its social and economic accomplishments, with some of the best indicators on the continent.

“As always the United States wants Venezuelan oil, hence the many attempts at intervention and coups,” he stated. “They want to turn it into a Syria, an Iraq, or an Afghanistan in Latin America.”

Morales stressed that the people must understand that the United States will use any means necessary to gain control of Venezuela’s resources. According to the Bolivian President “Direct aggression is their last resort…Many countries wouldn’t be able to withstand such aggression.”

The South American leader lamented that some former Presidents of the region are lending themselves to these coup attempts. He also criticized the role of the Organization of American States in attacks on the Bolivarian government.

“It’s unbelievable how a Latin American brother like Luis Almagro could become the empire’s greatest tool and coup supporter,” he noted.

Morales went on to express his full solidarity with former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a victim of political persecution in that country.

“There is absolutely no evidence against Lula, it’s an injustice,” he stated in regards to the nine-year prison sentence recently handed the regional leader by a Brazilian court.

“The right wing knows, the empire knows, that if Lula put himself forward as a candidate, he’d win, and they don’t want him to return,” noted Morales who also assured that the truth will eventually come to light.

Regarding Cuba, he noted that measures recently announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, tightening the economic blockade are “a sign of weakness.”

“50 years ago Cuba was alone, and she resisted, but now Cuba is not alone thanks to the struggle led by Fidel and his wise people.”

Evo assured that the island will respond to this new act of aggression with its customary commitment to political peace, while it is Washington that will find itself isolated.

“All united, in the face of this situation,” he proposed. “If Fidel, Chávez, and Kichner were alive today, they would be calling for our people to unite.”

Unity is the word that lights up the face of the indigenous leader. “Unity has enabled us to change Bolivia in a short space of time. Before, we were subservient, submissive to the North American empire.”

The Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), he noted, is composed of the most neglected sectors in Bolivia’s history. “But now, we indigenous and campesinos have united.”

Morales recalled that before, many looked to Europe as a model of governance, but that now the Europeans are looking to countries like Bolivia to learn from their emancipatory experiences. “We are growing economically like never before. In 11 years we have achieved what hadn’t been possible in the last 180.”

Within a few minutes, Evo would be sitting next to Comandante Daniel Ortega in Managua’s Plaza de la Fe, before hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans who gather there every July 19 to celebrate the triumph of their 1979 Revolution.

“Today the old guerillas are presidents and vice presidents. The raising of arms against dictatorships and oligarchies was not wrong.”

Morales confessed his admiration for the men and women that fought against the Somoza regime, noting that the Nicaraguan government, led since 2007 by the Sandinista Front, is becoming “one of the best in Central America,” with strong economic growth and resolving social problems affecting the masses.

“That is the Sandinista Revolution,” he stated.