Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Evo Re-elected in Bolivia; Condemns Capitalism for Environmental Destruction

Bolivian President Evo Morales called on the world leaders to raise their ambitions radically and hold temperature increases over the next century to just 1 degree celcius. In the most ambitious statement yet made at the climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, Morales demanded rich countries pay climate change reparations and proposed an international climate court of justice to prosecute countries for climate "crimes".

"Our objective is to save humanity and not just half of humanity. We are here to save mother earth. Our objective is to reduce climate change to [under] 1C. [above this] many islands will disappear and Africa will suffer a holocaust," he said. Limiting warming to 1C would need an end to all emissions and billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide to be sucked from the air and stored. Bolivia presents resolution “Harmony with Mother Earth” at the United Nations

Echoing Cuban president Fidel Castro 18 years ago at the earth summit in Rio de , Morales blamed capitalism squarely for climate change: "The real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save the earth then we must end that economic model. Capitalism wants to address climate change with carbon markets. We denounce those markets and the countries which [promote them]. It's time to stop making money from the disgrace that they have perpetrated."

On 8 December, Morales was re-elected president of Bolivia, with a landslide victory in a vote that also saw his political party set to dominate the country’s congress as voters backed the socialist programme of their country’s first indigenous leader. Morales won 67 per cent of the vote, more than double that of his nearest opponent, the right-wing former army captain Manfred Reyes Villa, who took just 27 per cent. Speaking before jubilant supporters in La Paz after results started to come in, Mr Morales said his socialist project “now is that of the Bolivian people” and that “to have two-thirds of the congress obliges me to accelerate the process of change”. An Aymara Indian, Mr Morales won massive majorities in those western Andean highlands departments that have large indigenous majorities. Initial results also indicate his Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party will control over two-thirds of the congress, allowing it to alter the constitution at will.


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