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Bolivia: Sign-on statement to oppose attempt to divide Bolivia

The conspiracy to divide Bolivia must be denounced

The process of changes in favor of the Bolivian majority is at risk of being brutally restrained. The rise to power of an Indigenous president with unprecedented support in that country and his programs of popular benefits and recovery of the natural resources have had to face the conspiracies of the oligarchy and United States interference from the very beginning.

In recent days the increase in conspiracy has reached its climax. The subversive and unconstitutional actions of the oligarchic groups to try to divide the Bolivian nation reflect the racist and elitist minds of these sectors and constitute a very dangerous precedent not only for the country’s integrity, but for other countries in our region.

History shows with ample eloquence, the terrible consequences that the divisionary and separatist processes supported and induced by foreign interests have had for humanity.

Faced with this situation the signers below would like to express their support for the government of Evo Morales Ayma, for his policies for change and for the sovereign constituent process of the Bolivian people. At the same time we reject the so-called Santa Cruz Autonomy Statute due to its unconstitutionality and the attempt against the unity of a nation of our America.

(To sign on visit Initial signatories at end of post.



Background from Bolivia Rising blog

Evo Morales: “The unity of Bolivia comes first"

Press conference by president of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, April 22

( - Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma this afternoon dismissed calls by an emerging separatist movement in the eastern lowland Bolivian state of Santa Cruz to hold a so-called autonomy referendum on 4 May as an “illegal” and “not very important” move by a select group of Santa Cruz wealthy families to divide the country.

“No real Bolivian agrees with division, but there will always be this kind of initiative started by families that want to create obstacles,” Mr. Morales said during a Headquarters press conference on Bolivia’s current situation, as well as today’s opening at Headquarters of the seventh session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. “Our obligation is to maintain the unity of the country and bring about transformation based on legality and constitutionality over and above any sectarian interests or claims,” he said, stressing that “the unity of the country comes first”.

President Morales, who took office in January 2006, said Bolivia was undergoing a deep transformation towards democracy and the redistribution of wealth as part of its struggle against a 500-year-old history of imperialism. “When one seeks unity and equality and, above all, social justice, there will always be obstacles,” he said. There had been progress in the past few years, but it would take time to make profound structural and social changes, as well as preserve and capitalize on the country’s vast natural resources for the benefit of all Bolivians.

“What encourages me is the warmth and affection I experience when I go to the fields and towns and when I visit and talk to people. Their support for a social revolution is very encouraging,” he said.

During the country’s colonial era, the enemies of indigenous Bolivians were the Viceroy, the Catholic Church and the upper classes, which had a stranglehold on the nation’s political, religious and financial life, respectively, he said. While remnants of that legacy remained, and powerful interests continued their fight to maintain control, democracy was in fact deepening and the State was now working for the common good. Just five years ago, Bolivians were granted the right to a referendum on their political leaders and their future.

In 2005, under the previous administration, Bolivia earned $300 million from its hydrocarbons industry, he noted. Last year, thanks to moves to nationalize that industry, Bolivian officials took in $1.93 billion and distributed the earnings to districts, mayor’s offices, schools and other public entities throughout the country for socio-economic development. “We’re very happy to see this because this is the first time that the State has managed to have an effect on each home, each family,” he said.

He explained that the Morales Administration had also lowered the legal pension age from 65 to 60, and had used 30 per cent of the country’s hydrocarbons tax revenues to close the wide pension gap so that all Bolivians from farmers to court judges received a liveable income upon retirement.

In an effort to implement the September 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he said the right to indigenous autonomy had been incorporated into the Bolivian Constitution and work was under way to consolidate those rights regionally.

Fielding questions from correspondents on his views of climate change, the President also touted the indigenous tradition of communal living, respect for Mother Earth and the end of private property as solutions to global warming. “The concentration of land or money in a few hands is not the solution to our problems,” he said. “The day environmental problems become so acute, you’re not going to suffer less because you’re so rich or so powerful. Let’s use that money to protect the environment so that everyone will benefit.”

Further, he criticized the use of farmland to produce biofuels for automobiles, saying it was causing wheat and other food prices to rise fast, seriously harming indigenous and very poor people worldwide. “According to some Presidents and some transnational companies, cars are more important than people,” he said, stressing the importance of raising international awareness to end such biofuel development.

As for the right of Bolivians to chew coca leaves, Mr. Morales said the proposal to ban coca leaf consumption was contrary to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. He had voiced his complaints in a letter to the Secretary-General, calling on the Organization to respect the merits of coca leaves and their historical and cultural value among indigenous communities.

Regarding last year’s decisions by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to ban soccer matches in La Paz because of its high altitude and Mr. Morales’ subsequent lobbying that ended that ban, he said it was a form of discrimination against people living in high altitudes. Soccer, like other sports, was good for one’s health and was part of integration. Bolivia was preparing a petition for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to address the marginalization of and discrimination against Bolivia and to defend the universality of soccer.

Concerning charges by the Peruvian Prime Minister and others that centres of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) being set up in Bolivia and Venezuela were helping to re-establish rebel groups such as the Shining Path and Tupac Amara, Mr. Morales said that maybe those centres destabilized empires, but not people. “What we’re looking for now in Latin America are liberating democracies,” he said.

Republished from Media Newswire


La conspiración para dividir Bolivia debe ser denunciada

El proceso de cambios a favor de las mayorías en Bolivia, corre el riesgo de ser brutalmente coartado. El ascenso al poder de un presidente indígena, electo con un respaldo sin precedentes en ese país, y sus programas de beneficio popular y de recuperación de los recursos naturales, han tenido que enfrentar desde los primeros momentos las conspiraciones oligárquicas y la injerencia imperial.

En los días más recientes, la escalada conspirativa ha alcanzado sus cotas máximas. Las acciones subversivas y anticonstitucionales con que los grupos oligárquicos pretenden dividir la nación boliviana, reflejan la mentalidad racista y elitista de estos sectores y constituyen un peligrosísimo precedente, no sólo para la integridad de ese país, sino también para la de otros países de nuestra región.

La historia muestra con sobrada elocuencia las terribles consecuencias que en todos los terrenos han tenido para la humanidad los procesos divisionistas y separatistas inducidos y respaldados por poderosos intereses foráneos.

Ante esta situación, los abajo firmantes queremos expresar nuestro respaldo al gobierno del Presidente Evo Morales Ayma, a sus políticas de cambio y al proceso constituyente soberano del pueblo boliviano. Al propio tiempo, rechazamos el llamado Estatuto autonómico de Santa Cruz por su carácter inconstitucional y por atentar contra la unidad de una nación de nuestra América.

Llamamos a todas las personas de buena voluntad a que unan sus voces para denunciar por todas las vías posibles esta maniobra divisionista y desestabilizadora en una hora histórica para la América Latina.


Initial signatories (to sign on visit

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina); Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala); Noam Chomsky (EEUU); Oscar Niemeyer (Brasil); Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay); Ignacio Ramonet (España/Francia); Elena Poniatowska (México); Frei Betto (Brasil); Gianni Vattimo (Italia); Adolfo Sánchez Vázquéz (España/México); Ernesto Cardenal (Nicaragua); Armand Mattelart (Bélgica); Ramsey Clark (EEUU); Manu Chao (Francia/España); Franz Hinkelammert (Alemania/Costa Rica); Francois Houtart (Bélgica); Alfonso Sastre (España); Paul Leduc (México); Fernando Pino Solanas (Argentina); Roberto Fernández Retamar (Cuba); Howard Zinn (EEUU); Keith Ellis (Canadá); Jorge Enrique Adoum (Ecuador); Belén Gopegui (España); Jesusa Rodríguez (México); Stella Calloni (Argentina); Joao Pedro Stedile (Brasil); Eric Toussaint (Bélgica); Rafael Cancel Miranda (Puerto Rico); Richard Gott (Reino Unido); Miguel D'Escoto (Nicaragua); Silvio Rodríguez (Cuba); Carmen Bohórquez (Venezuela); Víctor Heredia (Argentina); Blanca Chancosa (Ecuador); Thiago de Mello (Brasil); Juan Mari Bras (Puerto Rico); Hildebrando Pérez (Perú); Pascual Serrano (España); Fernando Rendón (Colombia); Víctor Víctor (República Dominicana); Luisa Vicioso (Rep. Dominicana); Cecilia Todd (Venezuela); Alex Cox (Reino Unido); Danny Rivera (Puerto Rico); Isaac Rosa (España); Jean Marie Binoche (Francia); Ramón Chao (España/Francia); Pablo Guayasamín (Ecuador); Andrés Sorel (España); Ariel Dorfman (Chile); Carlo Frabetti (Italia/España); Carlos Fazio (México); Manuel Cabieses (Chile); Carlos Fernández Liria (España); Cintio Vitier (Cuba); Héctor Díaz-Polanco (Rep. Dominicana/México); Javier Couso Permuy (España); Jaime Caycedo (Colombia); Fernando Martínez Heredia (Cuba); Isabel Parra (Chile); James Cockcroft (EEUU); Fina García Marruz (Cuba); Fernando Morais (Brasil); Juan Madrid (España); Pablo Marcano García (Puerto Rico); Graziella Pogolotti (Cuba); Piero Gleijeses (Italia/EEUU); Raúl Pérez Torres (Ecuador); Miguel Barnet (Cuba); Roberto Diaz Castillo (Guatemala); Nancy Morejón (Cuba); Salim Lamrani (Francia); Santiago Alba Rico (España); Saul Landau (EEUU); Stefania Mosca (Venezuela); Víctor Flores Olea (México); Wim Dierckxsens (Costa Rica); Wozniak (Polonia); Eric Nepomuceno (Brasil); Aldo Díaz Lacayo (Nicaragua); Alfredo Vera (Ecuador); Angel Augier (Cuba); Antonio Elías (Uruguay); Beverly Keene (Argentina/EEUU); Constantino Bértolo (España); Michel Collon (Bélgica); Juan Carlos Camaño (Argentina); César López (Cuba); Emir Sader (Brasil); Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez (México); Eduardo Torres-Cuevas (Cuba); Gennaro Carotenuto (Italia); Gilberto Maringoni (Brasil);Gloria la Riva (EEUU); Hernando Calvo Ospina (Colombia); Higinio Polo (España); Iván Padilla (Venezuela); Jaime Sarusky (Cuba); James Early (EEUU); Jorge Beinstein (Argentina); Jorge Sanjinés (Bolivia); José Steinsleger (Argentina/México); Julio César Monge (El Salvador); Lasse Söderberg (Suecia); José Hugo Moldiz Mercado (Bolivia); José Pertierra (Cuba/EEUU); Luciano Vasapollo (Italia); Luis Bilbao (Argentina); Manuel Talens (España); Marcos Roitman (Chile): Marlon Santi (Ecuador); Matías Bosch (Rep. Dominicana); Michele Mattelart (Francia); Montserrat Ponsa Tarres (España); Néstor Kohan (Argentina); Pablo Armando Fernández (Cuba); Roberto Montoya (Argentina/España); Sergio Trabucco (Chile); Medea Benjamín (EEUU); Reynaldo González (Cuba); Roberto Sánchez Ramos (España); Setsuko Ono (Japón/EEUU); Vicente Battista (Argentina); Vicente Rodríguez Nietzsche (Puerto Rico); Winston Orrillo Ledesma (Perú); Alberto Lecci (Argentina); Alejandro Moreano (Ecuador); Alessandra Riccio (Italia); Alicia Jrapko (EEUU); Ana Esther Ceceña (México); Angel Juarez Almendros (España); Antoine Chao (Francia); Ángeles Maestro (España); Antón Arrufat (Cuba); Aram Aharonian (Uruguay); Claudia Camba (Argentina); Carilda Oliver Labra (Cuba); Claudia Korol (Argentina); Daniel Lorenzi (Italia); David Acera (España); Faride Zeran (Chile); Diosdado Toledano (España); Félix Julio Alfonso López (Cuba); Francisco (Pancho) Villa (Chile); Irene Amador (Colombia); Francisco de Oraa (Cuba); Jane Franklin (EEUU); Humberto Arenal (Cuba); Juan Brom (México); Lisette Nicole Adoum (Suiza); Jorge Ibarra (Cuba); Luciano Alzaga (Argentina); Marilia Guimaraes (Brasil); José Ignacio López Vigil (Cuba); Manuel de la Rica (España); Maximilien Arvelaiz (Venezuela); Leonardo Acosta (Cuba); Miguel Mirra (Argentina); Milagros Rivera Rérez (Puerto Rico); Oscar-René Vargas (Nicaragua); Osvaldo León (Ecuador); Paulo Nakatani (Brasil); Pepe Viñoles (Uruguay); Red Ronnie (Italia); Rolando Rodríguez (Cuba); Sara Rosemberg (Argentina); Vicente Romano (España); Sergio Ortiz (Argentina); Yamandú Acosta (Uruguay); Antonio Cuesta (España); Antonio Gaztambide (Puerto Rico); Coriún Aharonian (Uruguay); Rosa Miriam Elizalde (Cuba); Daniel del Solar (EEUU); Ángel Guerra (Cuba); Edgar Páez (Venezuela); Eva Golinger (EEUU); Guillermo C. Cohen-DeGovia (México); Estrella Rey (Cuba); Hiram Guadalupe Pérez (Puerto Rico); Humberto Mata (Venezuela); Isabel Monal (Cuba); Jhonny Jiménez (Ecuador); Joseba Macías (País Vasco); Juan Carlos Monedero (España); Julio Pomar (México); René Vázquez Díaz (Cuba); Liliana Játiva (Ecuador); Daniel das Neves (Argentina); Luis Hernández Navarro (México); María del Carmen Barcia (Cuba); Mertxe Aizpurua (País Vasco); Andrés Gómez (Cuba/EEUU); Nayar López (México); Ramon Franquesa (España); Zoyla Lapique (Cuba); Margarita Zapata (México); Miguel Urbano (Portugal); Javier Corcuera (Perú); Alicia Hermida (España); Jaime Losada (España); Alejandro Torres (Puerto Rico); Juan Antonio Hormigón (España); Lidia Fagale (Argentina); Brian Becker (EEUU); Héctor Sosa (Argentina); Ana María Larrea (Ecuador); Ana Villareal (Argentina); Beatriz Chisleanschi (Argentina); Carlos A. Lozano Guillén (Colombia); Judith Rabinovich (Argentina);

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