MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, December 1st 2021 - 00:52 UTC



Morales on world tour, regrets no US invitation

Tuesday, January 3rd 2006 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

Bolivian elected President Evo Morales who Tuesday begins a world tour of seven countries in four continents, with a first stop over in Venezuela, regrets no invitation from United States was forthcoming, since he is willing to dialogue with all governments.

In Caracas Mr. Morales will meet with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, en route to Spain the first leg of his tour. Last Friday Mr. Morales met with Cuba's Fidel Castro who promised help to wipe out illiteracy and improve public health services in Bolivia.

Venezuela's President Chavez is expected to commit technological support for the energy industry plus funds to develop projects in rural areas, where most of the poor indigenous Bolivians survive.

The last moment Venezuela schedule which was not originally contemplated follows a "special invitation from President Chavez and will only last a few hours", said Alex Contreras spokesperson for the Movement Towards Socialism, Mr. Morales party.

"The two presidents will be exchanging ideas on economic, trade, political and other affairs which make up the bilateral relation on an open agenda", he added.

"This must not be interpreted as a closed doors attitude towards countries with other ideologies", insisted Mr. Contreras who emphasized that "I can assure you that if an invitation from the US government was forthcoming, Evo would have gone. He is willing to dialogue, to talk, to negotiate with all governments that invite him".

"The elected president is willing to dialogue?and confirm that diplomatic relations are different to those before", stressed Contreras.

"I imagine that without dialogue, relations with United States regrettably could deteriorate even further. Obviously it depends on both sides and that for example the false war on drugs must be modified", argued Morales spokesman.

From Spain and after meeting President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Mr. Morales will be flying to Paris where he will be received by President Jacques Chirac and on January 6 is scheduled to meet in Brussels with representatives from the European Parliament.

Energy resources and development aid figure top of the European agenda since the incoming president, who won by a landslide 54%, has repeatedly insisted that his country's hydrocarbon resources can only belong to the Bolivian government and several EU have huge investments in gas fields.

Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Chinese leaders in Beijing and finally Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Bolivia's main natural gas client, on January 13 complete the hectic tour of the first Bolivian indigenous elected president.

However Mr. Morales' spokesman was quick to highlight that in foreign affairs the incoming president has no intention of belonging to the "evil axis" of Havana with Caracas, as has been described from Washington.

"We're not intent in consolidating the so called "axis of evil" but rather a "good axis", based not on imposed or conditioned relations but rather on bilateral diplomatic relations of great respect", argued Mr. Contreras.

The idea of the so called "axis of evil" which would also include Bolivia was reborn following Mr. Morales' first overseas visit to Cuba and Tuesday's meeting with Mr. Chavez, plus the fact he calls them "my brothers in the struggle against imperialism".

The elected president will be travelling on commercial regular flights having declined Cuba's Castro offer of his personal aircraft.

"It's a question of image: Mr. Morales must travel in a Bolivian flagged carrier or a commercial airline", pointed out Mr. Contreras who nevertheless admitted the elected president travelled last Friday to Cuba in Fidel's aircraft.

Categories: Mercosur.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!