¡Yes, we interviewed the President of Bolivia!

Niki, Emily, Evo Morales, Eulogio, & Kara 

We interviewed Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, tonight.  We shook his hand, had our picture taken with him, and he spoke to us in a taped interview for 13 minutes.  It was awesome.

In his 13 minutes, he spoke about the Agrarian Revolution that he implemented in June 2006 and his larger vision for Bolivia´s future.  Under the new agrarian policies, the state will reclaim unused, unproductive land from latifundios (people who have accumulated large land holdings as the result of political favors) and redistribute it to poor campesinos who will begin to produce on their small scale, organic farms.  As land is redistributed, it will only be titled to communities, like Gran Chaco and Pueblos Unidos, not to individuals.  These policies will give campesinos the opportunity to work and produce for themselves, thus escaping the poor working conditions of the haciendas and informal work in urban centers.  However, he also spoke of the challenges in implementing these reforms due to the resistence from the business community (primarily located in Santa Cruz) as well as from the United States (IMF and World Bank).

The president, Evo Morales, has a remarkably humble presence.  Initially, he said that while he has assumed the seat of presidential power, he is still a part of the larger indigenous campesino movement.  His broader vision for the future of Bolivia is to create work opportunities in Bolivia, to release the country´s natural resources from corporate stranglehold, and to decolonize the nation, creating a pluri-ethnic and multicultural decision making body (known as the Constitutional Assembly).

Aside from the fact that Niki almost broke her leg as she tripped up the stairs, Kara almost broke a fancy sofa in the presidential parlor, and the light situation was a disaster because the sun had set and the inside lights were extremely yellow it was an amazing experience.

We will upload pictures (and geotag them as promised) when we return to a place where we have regular computer access (we have been writing our blog posts from internet cafes).

Hope you are all well,

Niki, Kara, & Emily

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1 comment so far

  1. […] Emily and her collaborators have been traveling the country conducting interviews.  They even interviewed Bolvia’s President Evo Morales! You can read more about their adventures on the Pueblos Unidos blog.  Way to go Emily! […]


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