Evo Morales, President of Bolivia Addresses the 2007 World Social Forum in Nairobi
By Evo Morales; translated from Spanish by Manuel Talens, Tlaxcala; revised by Les Blough
Jan 25, 2007, 16:21
“I hope that this Forum will issue proposals to stop the neo-liberal model” – Evo Morales, President of Bolivia and candidate to the Peace Nobel Prize
President Evo Morales speaks to the World Social Forum in Nairobi
First of all I want to greet the World Social Forum and all the compañeros and compañeras, brothers and sisters who participate here in order to continue formulating a programmatic, political and ideological line to change the world, this world of injustices and inequalities. Forums, international and world events always guide us as union leaders, and now – I must say – as presidents. I hope this Forum will issue proposals allowing to change and to assert how to stop the neo-liberal model which has been to harmful to my country, Bolivia, as well as to Latin America and, for sure, to other countries of the world. I believe that there are two [programmatic … political and ideological] lines in the world:
1. Governments and presidents betting for life and
2. Presidents and governments betting to end lives with their politics.
In less than one year after I became President I have found two kinds of peoples, governments or – to put things clear – programs: some governments send troops to save lives and others send troops to end lives. This is the deep difference, some of them are there to look for hegemony and others are there to save lives in the framework of solidarity and reciprocity. So to which of them shall we associate? I say: to the governments of presidents and comandantes who are saving lives unconditionally and with solidarity. Others, from the stand of hegemony, continue thinking of how to dominate the world at the price of lives and without any respect for human rights.
Therefore it is necessary to think of life, to think of mankind, to think of how to save mankind, that is, how to save the planet Earth; the indigenous movement shows its important contribution of how to live in harmony with the planet Earth, the Pacha Mama – Mother Earth, – as we say in Bolivia. It makes me happy to see the constant growing of environmental movements, the so-called “green movements”, as well as humanist movements, all fighting for mankind. We must all join throughout world to save mankind by saving the planet Earth, putting an end to any militarist, interventionist, and haughty politics. To think of dominating with armed forces is not the correct way. It is a form to continue attempts against life itself, that is, against human rights.
For one moment I think our union and social leaders in the region should learn English in order to share fighting experiences in Africa. It is hard to understand that some African countries are so rich [in resources] but are poorer than Bolivia, that Bolivia is so rich but has so many poor. Regrettably the natural resources are so destroyed that in order to recover them we must ready, based upon political conscience, to stand as peoples for the recovery of our natural resources to change the social situation in the countries from the South.
This South-to-South relationship has already achieved importance throught agreements and contacts among presidents and governments – if not among the peoples themselves – but it is necessary to hold these meetings because there is something that worries me: that in some African countries those excluded, marginalized and discriminated against could assume office and perhaps liberate themselves as human beings, but if they do not think of liberation of our natural resources, real change will be impossible. Perhaps some oligarchic groups think of us as pobrecitos. They say: well, now these poor little people – these Blacks, these Indians are already in government; yes, we do govern and if we do not touch their economic interests they will support us; but to truly govern is to set free, to nationalize natural resources.
I find important this meeting, South-to-South alliances, but more fundamentally [I find important] the alliances between the peoples of our countries. I feel that we have some gaps to fill: in Latin America we are champions in ousting presidents but I feel that these [African] countries lack such an experience and the task now is how to create a larger conscience so that together we can fight. I would stand for a South-to-South agreement with the Middle East, Africa, South Africa and Latin America as a basis to stem Empire’s arrogance.
Source in Spanish: http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=45417
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