Published on Countercurrents.org, by Fidel Castro, 19 October, 2009.
If Obama was awarded the Nobel for winning the elections in a racist society despite his being African American, Evo deserves it for winning them in his country despite his being a native and his having delivered on his promises.
For the first time, in both countries a member of their respective ethnic groups has won the presidency.
I had said several times that Obama is a smart and cultivated man in a social and political system he believes in. He wishes to bring healthcare to nearly 50 million Americans, to rescue the economy from its profound crisis and to improve the US image which has deteriorated as a result of genocidal wars and torture. He neither conceives nor wishes to change his country’s political and economic system; nor could he do it …
… I shall only say that Evo has prevailed over the wicked and slanderous imperialist campaigns, its coups and interference in the internal affairs of that country and defended Bolivia’s sovereignty and the right of its thousand-year-old people to have their traditions respected. “Coca is not cocaine,” he blurted out to the largest marihuana producer and drug consumer in the world, whose market has sustained the organized crime that is taking thousands of lives in Mexico every year. Two of the countries where the Yankee troops and their military bases are stationed are the largest drug producers on the planet.
The deadly trap of drug-trafficking has failed to catch Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador, revolutionary countries members of ALBA like Cuba which are aware of what they can and should do to bring healthcare, education and wellbeing to their peoples. They do not need foreign troops to combat drug-trafficking.
Bolivia is fostering a wonderful program under the leadership of an Aymara president with the support of his people.
Illiteracy was eradicated in less than three years: 824,101 Bolivian learned how to read and write; 24,699 did so also in Aymara and 13,599 in Quechua. Bolivia is the third country free of illiteracy, following Cuba and Venezuela.
It provides free healthcare to millions of people who had never had it before. It is one of the seven countries in the world with the largest reduction of infant mortality rate in the last five years and with a real possibility to meet the Millennium Goals before the year 2015, with a similar accomplishment regarding maternal deaths. It has conducted eye surgery on 454,161 persons, 75,974 of them Brazilians, Argentineans, Peruvians and Paraguayans.
Bolivia has set forth an ambitious social program: every child attending school from first to eighth grade is receiving an annual grant to pay for the school material. This benefits nearly two million students.
More than 700,000 persons over 60 years of age are receiving a bonus equivalent to some 342 dollars annually.
Every pregnant woman and child under two years of age is receiving an additional benefit of approximately 257 dollars.
Bolivia, one of the three poorest nations in the hemisphere, has brought under state control the country’s most important energy and mineral resources while respecting and compensating every single affected interest. It is advancing carefully because it does not want to take a step backward. Its hard currency reserves have been growing, and now they are no less than three times higher than they were at the beginning of Evo’s mandate. It is one of the countries making a better use of external cooperation and it is a strong advocate of the environment.
In a very short time, Bolivia has been able to establish the Biometric Electoral Register and approximately 4.7 million voters have registered, that is, nearly a million more than in the last electoral roll that in January 2009 included 3.8 million.
There will be elections on December 6. Surely, the people’s support for their President will increase. Nothing has stopped his growing prestige and popularity.
Why is he not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?
I understand his great disadvantage: he is not the President of the United States of America.
Fidel Castro Ruz, October 15, 2009. (full text).