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Bolivia - Morales Praises Cuba
Tuesday, December 20, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Morales thanks castro for setting example

Newly elected president of Bolivia Evo Morales yesterday thanked Cuba for giving Latin America an example, and he promised to "liberate Bolivia." reports:

''Thank you very much Cuba for showing Latin America and the world how to live with dignity and sovereignty,'' Morales said in a phone interview for a Cuban television show on his Sunday victory at the polls.

''The hour to liberate Bolivia and Latin America has arrived,'' Morales, a former leader of coca farmers and the country's first Indian leader, said.

Morales says he will join fidel castro and hugo chávez in promoting their vision for Latin American integration and opposing the US backed plan that would allow free trade across the continents.

SBS-World News Australia reports Morales never finished high school and plans sweeping reforms for South America's poorest country.

Mr Morales has pledged to increase state control over Bolivia's vast natural gas resources and to protect growers of coca, a traditional plant that forms the basis of cocaine.

He has said the multinational firms that control Bolivia's gas resources will have to split their profits with Bolivia, but he has not said how this will be carried out.

He has vowed however that Bolivia will not "seize or expropriate" the oil firms' property.

fidel in 1959 made similar promises.The salary of ordinary Cubans is $20 a month. Is that really an example of an economic system to be praised and emulated?

Bolivia's new vice president is also an interesting character.  Alvaro Garcia Linera is a former guerilla who studied in prison to become a radical professor.

His mission in this campaign has been to calm the fears of Bolivia's middle classes who have been panicked by Mr Morales campaign slogans, such as "Power to the Indians", and who fear an orgy of nationalisation and higher taxes.

Critics call the pair "the illiterate and the intellectual."


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