President Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous head of state, is holding up indigenous values of common ownership and consensus decision-making as a model for his country, the Miami Herald / Latin American Post reports. Morales frequently spells out what he sees as the differences between indigenous and traditional governments:
"For the leaders of the indigenous communities, their democracy is of consensus," he said during a speech in Sucre, the country's traditional capital. `"There are no majorities and minorities. Majorities and minorities are a democracy imposed on our country."
His speeches are full of phrases from the Aymara and Quechua languages, which more than 34 percent of Bolivians speak. He's refused to wear a suit and tie at official functions, opting for a casual brown jacket adorned with indigenous designs.
Even the playing of the national anthem at ceremonies has been revamped. At the opening of a constituent assembly earlier this month at which delegates are to rewrite the country's constitution, thousands waited in the blazing sun while a choir sang the anthem in Spanish, Aymara, Quechua and Guaraní, another Indian language.
MORE ON EVO MORALES AND BOLIVIA:
Evo! (Savage Minds, 19.12.05)
Morales Predicts 500 Years of Indigenous Rule (IPS, 23.1.06)
BOLIVIA: Indigenous woman to lead new assembly (Green Left Australia, 9.8.06)
Bolivia Begins to Rewrite Constitution (Washington Post, 6.8.06)
An indigenous revolution brings hope to Bolivia (rabble.ca)
Coca, Land and a Farmers’ Market Provide Hope, Not Long-Term Solutions in Chulumani, Bolivia (Upsidedownworld.org, 22.8.06)
Current news from Bolivia (Globalvoices)