[News] Bolivian President: "Viva Cuba! Glory to Che!"
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jun 15 14:13:14 EDT 2006
June 14, 2006
Bolivia's president pays homage to Che Guevara
LA HIGUERA, Bolivia - Bolivian President Evo Morales
pledged solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela on
Wednesday as he paid homage to Ernesto "Che" Guevara
at the spot where the legendary leftist guerrilla was
killed in 1967.
Clutching double-sided Cuban-Bolivian flags,
white-coated Cuban doctors joined Morales and hundreds
of local residents in the remote eastern village La
Higuera to mark the 78th anniversary of the Cuban
revolutionary leader's birth.
Morales, who has hung a large portrait of Guevara in
the presidential palace, defended his leftist alliance
with Cuba and Venezuela and said he would be willing
to take up arms to defend them in the face of any U.S.
"If they did it in Cuba, in Venezuela or Bolivia, we'd
be willing to take them on with arms to defend the
nation, natural resources and social reforms," Morales
"Ten years ago, I said there'd soon be many Cubas in
Latin America and I now feel I was right ... . Now
we've got another commander, our comrade (Venezuelan
President) Hugo Chavez. We've got two freedom-fighting
commanders ... whatever the empire says," added
Morales, who often dubs Washington "the North American
Morales has formed close ties with Cuban President
Fidel Castro and fellow leftist Chavez since being
elected six months ago on pledges to increase state
control of natural resources and fight poverty in
South America's poorest country.
He is the first Bolivian president to pay homage to
Guevara in the mountainous area where the
Argentine-born medical doctor was captured and shot to
death by Bolivian soldiers as he sought to spread
communism to Bolivia.
Guevara was Fidel Castro's lieutenant in the 1959
Cuban Revolution. His attempt to spark another
movement in Bolivia in 1967 was stopped after seven
months of fighting in the subtropics.
He was captured on October 8 and taken to the school
building in La Higuera, where he was executed the next
day at the age of 39.
Finishing off his speech in La Higuera, Morales
shouted "Viva Cuba! Glory to Che!" before Cuban
doctors took the stage to sing "Happy Birthday" to
Guevara around an enormous birthday cake bearing 78
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