Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in Washington DC for an OAS meeting Nov. 19, drew parallels between himself and US President-elect Barack Obama: “Who would have believed 10 or 15 years ago that I could become president of Bolivia? Who would have believed 20 or 30 years ago that a black man could become president of the United States?” He made his comments before the OAS special session, speaking in Spanish.
Days earlier, after speaking before the UN General Assembly in New York, Morales said: “My interest is how to improve relations with the new president. I think we could have a lot of things in common. If we talk about change I have some experience now. I think it would be good to share experiences with the new president-elect.” He called for relations based on “respect from one government to another.”
Morales, whose presence sparked a protest outside the OAS meeting, said he would not relent on his decision to suspend DEA operations in Bolivia. “The DEA will not return while I am still president,” he said. (WP, Nov. 20; Reuters, Nov. 17)
Morales made similar remarks upon Obama’s election.
See our last post on Evo’s Bolivia.