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After a series of testimonies by different participants of the meeting, Bolivian President Evo Morales, together with leaders of the movements present, officially launched the meeting in a rainy Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Amid the applauses of a practically full Coliseo Municipal Santa Rosita, Morales highlighted the importance of a meeting such as this one, and the challenges involved due to its potentially ambitious proposals.
During his speech he welcomed and celebrated how Pope Francis has gotten closer to social movements. For the first time, according to Evo, a Pope has made a call such as this one: “A call to gather and discuss problems, not only the problems of one sector, of one region, but global problems to submit a document to Pope Francis on Thursday”. “We share a lot of elements in our economic and social policies for change. We share elements related to capitalism, environment, the good living. We share the Pope´s messages of justice and peace, but peace with social justice”, he added.
“I feel we are living a time of freedom, a time of the peoples of the world”, said before congratulating the Greek people and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after the victory of the “No” in the referendum that took place in the country to accept or reject the plan proposed by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on July 5. “Based on our experience we can say that it was the best decision to separate ourselves from that International Monetary Fund to improve the economic situation of each country”, he concluded.
Also about the neoliberal policies promoted by financial institutions and powerful States, Morales said: “What can we say about these financial anarchies? I feel that it is not a matter of whether there is money or not, the problem here is that it is ill-distributed. We don´t lack food, but the excesses of consumerism leave many families without food. Then, how can we come up with global economy redistribution policies? What do we do with consumerism?
After listing some of the changes in Bolivia´s economy after the “cultural democratic revolution” process, the Bolivian president said: “This change didn´t come with Evo Morales, it came with the struggles of social movements of Bolivia and the unity and awareness of the Bolivian people”.
At the end of his speech, the Bolivian president highlighted the importance and need for unity in the struggles of social movements: “They always try to divide us to dominate us politically, to steal and plunder our natural resources. But when we work together to defend our natural resources, the economic situation changes, we manage to fight poverty”. Morales also made reference to the elements that undermine the processes of struggle and shared his opinion: “I don´t know if it is ambition, or selflessness or individualism. But if we get rid of personal interests, the peoples will certainly win. Individualism and ambition are a heritage from colonial times. If we want to change the world, first we have to change ourselves, and leave aside personal ambitions, selflessness, envy and greed. We are organized peoples”.
Imagen: Gustavo Rosas/Lidyane Ponciano/Edgardo Mattioli
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