Bolivian President Evo Morales Discusses US Policies

Excerpts from interview, Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 Complete intereview text at

The United States, nor any other country, can observe or comment or have anything to say about the relationships that we have with any other countries. We're a small country, but we're a sovereign country with dignity, with the right to establish relations with whoever we want. If the United States government reacts, if they would have reacted, it would suggest that they are still thinking that Latin American countries need to be subordinate to the United States. But happily, in Latin America, there are countries with democracies that are liberating democracies, not subordinate democracies.

First of all, the United States cannot, should not receive, protect delinquents from any part of the world. It is unconscionable that the United States, a democratic country, would be protecting international criminals like Posada Carriles. The process has to do with two issues: first of all, human rights, and second of all, for economic damages done to the state. So people who massacre peoples, that violate human rights and do economic damage to countries and their economies have to go to jail. The United States shouldn't be sitting there waiting for a process to be put into motion, but rather should kick these people out so that they can be submitted to justice.

Che Guevara continues to be a symbol of someone who gave his life for the peoples, when in Bolivia and in other countries around the world reigned military dictatorships. So that's why it's amazing to see that all over the world Che Guevara is still there, forty years later. But now, we're living in other times. But to value and recognize that thinking, that struggle, and if we recognize and we value it, that doesn't mean it means to mechanically follow the steps that he took in terms of military uprising.
And that's where, for example, I respect Fidel Castro. In 2003, I was invited to a conference in Havana, Cuba. And Fidel said the following: “Don't do what I've done. Do what Chavez is doing: transformations through a constituent assembly.” I think it was a good teaching, because we've seen the constituent assemblies in Venezuela, in Ecuador and now in Bolivia, as well, that through democracy we can achieve structural transformations.

[Question from AMY GOODMAN: What is the effect of the war on Iraq in Latin America, in Bolivia, in particular?]

There is a feeling that leads to the rejection, the repudiation of the United States government. This intervention of the United States in Iraq helps anti-imperialist thinking and feeling to grow. The pretext of fighting against terrorism and for security, with this pretext, they intervene and create all these deaths. But there are also other issues, economic issues, underlying it. I feel that we're in a times of not looking to how to extinguish lives, but rather how to save lives.

If globalization does not admit difference and pluralism, if it's a selective globalization, therefore it will be almost impossible to resolve environmental issues and save humanity. The most important contribution that indigenous peoples can make is to live in harmony with Mother Earth. We say the “Mother Earth,” because the earth gives us life, and neither the Mother Earth nor life can be a commodity. So we're talking about a profound change in the economic models and systems.