Juan Evo Morales Ayma has been President of Bolivia since 2006. Born in a mining village in Bolivia's western Oruro department, Morales claims to be the country's first fully indigenous head of state. He is the leader of the Bolivian political party "Movimiento al Socialismo," which goes by the Spanish acronym MAS. The group's aims include transferring more power to the country's indigenous and poor communities, and when Morales took office he pledge to reduce poverty, ease restrictions on coca farmers, re-nationalize the country's energy sector, fight corruption, and increase taxes on the wealthy. He was elected to a second term in January, 2009 with a 63% majority.
Question: You have allied yourself in recent years with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? What does Bolivia have in common with their countries?
Evo Morales: Also with Cuba, with Fidel. I am quite an admirer of Fidel. For me, Fidel is the first and the best man in solidarity with the peoples of the world. Fidel shares not just what he does not need, but every little thing he has. That is called solidarity. There are countries that send us garbage. There are countries that send us their outdated technology as their cooperation. With Fidel it is totally different. Fidel is the first and the best one to stand for peace in the world denouncing the interventionist policies of the U.S. government.
But the fight against capitalism has many aspects, particularly the distinctive economic models that concentrate the capital in few hands. He questions the various methods of intervention to countries. That is happening not only with Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, Iran... but also with the countries of Central America, and South American countries with presidents as Lula, Correa, countries as Paraguay, Uruguay.
It is a democratic uprising. I'd say a democratic revolution against imperialism and against capitalism. So the agreements between us, more than that, any cooperation means unconditional credit, while the US and some capitalist countries want to help us under conditions, under blackmail. And they use the IMF as a major instrument of economic and financial domination.
Fortunately, in Bolivia, we have begun to liberate ourselves economically. If we do not accompany social and cultural liberation with economic liberalization, the country will continue to be subjugated. Fortunately, social and cultural liberation go along with economic and financial liberalization.