The first indigenous president, Evo Morales, and his country, Bolivia, are recurring themes in the works of the vice president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, Pedro de la Hoz, author of three books on this topic. A special book will be published next year.
Jorge Petinaud Martínez
“Evo represents the rebellious spirit of Latin American heroes from the past, he’s a man that does not mince his words, vehemently anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist”, he said to the Cuban news agency, Prensa Latina, about his upcoming fourth book about the process of change that this country is experiencing.
Co-authored with Luis Báez from the Evo Espuma de Plata collection, Todos Somos Pueblo y Todos Somos Evo, he is also a journalist and is considered to be one of the most important cultural critics in his country. He stressed the greatness of the leader of the Socialist Movement (MAS), who “has never stopped being the man that, in Chapare, could only eat oranges because that was all he had”. “He has this historical memory and it is in his political genes”, he reasoned, “he defends the poor and his programme of redistribution of wealth is unfathomable in Latin America. Also, as though he has nothing to lose, he tells a few home truths about imperialism”.
The vice president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba considers it necessary to have a high level of dignity, and at the same time political courage and an ethical veracity to make the stance that Evo did on an international scale and particularly in our country, where, in his opinion, there are so many turncoats and where so many people give up.
With regards the new book, the title of which still has not been decided, he explained that it will reflect the impact of the process led by Morales in the lives of ordinary people, “people from the Socialist Movement as well as those from other parties, because they all benefitted”.
There are unobjectionable data and indicators that show and are registered during his investigation, such as the empowerment of a middle class and a reduction in the levels of poverty to unimaginable levels in Latin America.
De La Hoz described, also, the unique process of change which took place in Bolivia in a difficult international context.
“Integration efforts in the past have been heavily criticised by the right and particularly by those who the Bolivian vice president, Álvaro García Linera, defines as neo-liberal zombies; people who repeat the same formulas from the past without realising, like a zombie, a very interesting concept”.
The writer considers it extremely significant that in the face of such clashes, the Bolivian process has remained steady and has actually moved forward, which should be a lesson for all Latin Americans. “Bolivia is a mirror in which many people should look, it is an example of how a state, popular and private economy can be achieved with a focus on the well-being of the people”.
The writer acknowledges that Bolivian society isn’t perfect and that there is still a lot to do. However, he believes that Evo Morales and García Lineras are perfectly aware that there are many holes to fill and maintains that modern Bolivia is a triumph of an economy of productive efforts with a focus on social well-being.
“Without a doubt, Bolivia has achieved, in real terms, a redistribution of wealth for the benefit of many sectors of the population, including the capitalists”.
From his point of view and noting that it is an approach which is very much his, De La Hoz thinks that Bolivia has, at the moment, a capitalist state system with a strong social drive.
Where does his inclination for Bolivia come from?
“Truthfully, I have dedicated more time to music reviews and to culture generally, but Evo Morales is an incredibly important figure in Latin America. He is the leader of an unprecedented process. “I was invited by the president’s office in 2008 so that, along with a colleague, Luis Báez, we could write the book “Evo espuma de plata”, an essay that summarised this moment of change that Bolivia was experiencing at the start of the twenty-first century.
“And after, with this open opportunity I wrote Todos Somos Pueblo, a book reporting on the second elections won by Evo Morales. The first elections were in 2005 and these were in 2010.
“Between one and the other came “Todos Somos Evo”, a text which Luis and I created by interviewing 46 popular figures in and outside of Bolivia who valued the political figure and his mark within the social emancipation processes in this era.
“I believe that now is a unique opportunity because this is a crucial moment in Latin America. (PL)
(Translated by Corrine Harries – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)