For the Secretary General of the ALBA-TCP, David Choquehuanca, this integrationist structure is fundamental in order to confront attempts to reinstate neo-colonialism in Latin America.
Jorge Petinaud Martínez
“It is important in an environment where dark forces want to return to neo-colonialism, because division arrived on our continent with colonisation just like racism, the culture of division and the culture of war”, he said exclusively to Prensa Latina shortly before leaving for Cuba to participate in the commemoration of the 14th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP).
The former Chancellor of Bolivia, Choquehuanca evoked the founding moment by the leaders of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and the Bolivarian, Hugo Chávez, with a joint statement on 14th December 2004.
“Two visionary, extraordinary brothers, in a meeting decided to build an unparalleled space for integration, that encompasses all topics, not just business. That builds brotherhood, unity, hope, peace”, he expressed to this news agency.
He meant that after 14 years, the men and women of Latin America and the Caribbean remember with hope “because human beings, deep down in their hearts, are integrationists, they want brotherhood, they seek peace and harmony”.
In a new reference to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, the Secretary General of the ALBA-TCP highlighted that since then they have been fighting to implement this construction to make “the wellbeing of our people” a reality.
Referring to the meeting of high-level representatives at this forum on 14th December in Cuba on the anniversary, the leader of indigenous origin said that: “It is a demonstration of resistance, solidarity, dignity and the governments that participate in this space of integration are also committed to social justice”.
He stressed that it is a group of nations who rejected the exploitation of men by men, wars, and who seek brotherhood and peace, as the main message against the prevailing uncertainty on the planet.
He condemned the fact that the world today experiences the consequences of the application of a capitalist development model, which resulted in the dominance of poverty, environmental crisis, water, climate change, finances and energy, “that is, a global crisis”.
“As a result, our people who seek social justice and fight against exploitation and external domination, who reject colonialism and neo-colonialism, who oppose all kinds of interventionism and look for peace, have high expectations for this meeting”, he highlighted in relation to the block that includes, among other nations, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, San Vicente and Grenada, and Dominican Republic. In the current context of Latin America, he asks, what is their vision of the future of this region and how should the left act towards the neoliberal sector’s offensive in alliance with the United States?
“They need to divide. Before the arrival of colonialism, our continent was united. There were no national flags nor borders to separate us.”
“Foreign powers carved up our continent to then establish a systematic plundering of our resources. Our people have put up with more than 500 years of systematic pillaging.
“Movements exist that seek to make up for this, defend our sovereignty, our natural riches for the benefit of our people, not for offshore forces, and with this goal they build spaces for integration.
“There are advances such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and this does not suit the United States, the transnationals that don’t think about life. That’s why, once again, the northern power launches a brutal attack against progressive forces, and, regrettably, those who call themselves leaders lend themselves to these dark interests, foreign to our people.
“In this context, the situation is not so easy. Demonstrations of servile governments are seen again, who don’t think of their people, only of the dictatorship of money.
“Nevertheless, there is hope in Latin America. Not only for countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia because people are already protesting in Argentina, in Peru, in Colombia, and through this inhumane repression is produced, because it is not appropriate for there to be an awakening of the popular sectors.
“I think that one day the same people will be able to exercise sovereignty and will decide how they want to advance; even in the United States, in Europe expressions of non-conformity have been observed.
“Because of this the dominant elites are more and more aggressive, more violent”. Questioned on the current situation in Bolivia, the former Foreign Minister stated:
“We have to let the people decide. Our country will have elections in 2019 and, in these polls, all those people that think they could manage to become presidents and vice-presidents must take part. The people are the ones who must decide.
“In this process, certain requirements must be met, which must be observed by all those authorised by the relevant bodies, in this case, the Supreme Electoral Court.
“We must all go calmly, peacefully to the elections. To choose our authorities in a transparent, peaceful way and to put no obstacles in the way of any mechanism that leads us to this day in which we should exercise the secret vote.
“Bolivia, in the last 13 years, has grown like no other country in the region. It has reduced poverty. Between 2005 and 2006, out of every 100 Bolivians, 40 were living in extreme poverty; today this has already decreased to around 15 %. For 2025, President Morales has said zero extreme poverty.
“In this process of change, the country was successfully declared free of illiteracy by the United Nations, and the gross domestic product increased considerably.
“At the same time, every day they delivered on works, roads like never before, many easy-to-see achievements, and they are preserving their sovereignty, giving importance to Bolivians. There has been a recovery of our self-esteem, our philosophy, our symbols.
“Before, the Aymara and the Quechua, who are the majority in this country, were not recognised, we were not seen as important, they did not even allow us to speak our language.
“Between 2009 and 2010, we recently incorporated our languages into the Constitution. Now we are seen as important, and this means that President Morales has more and more support.
“And the most important thing for me is to have guaranteed not only financial stability but also political and social stability, which works for everyone.” He stressed, referring to the favouritism of the binomial Socialist Movement made up of Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera.
“Our Constitution spoke of nomination and re-election, and, as in all parts, there is a Constitutional Court that is in charge of interpreting the Constitution and the rules, and this allows the President to be able to be legally empowered as candidate.
“Thinking about Bolivia, in its sovereignty, in its economic growth and, above all, in its stability, social movements have decided to see alternatives so that President Morales can continue leading this country.
“None of the other candidates, those we know well, offer us a credible alternative. It would seem that the opposition is scared of the people, and, ultimately, it is the people who are going to decide who will be their leader”, concluded Choquehuanca. (PL)
(Translated by Donna Davison – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay