Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador are not falling into the deadly trap of drug trafficking; they are revolutionary countries that, like Cuba, are members of the ALBA. They know what they can and should do to bring health, education and well-being to their peoples. They do not need foreign troops to combat drug trafficking.
Bolivia is going forward with a program of its dreams under the leadership of an Aymara president who has his people’s support.
In less than three years, he eradicated illiteracy: 824,101 Bolivians learned to read and write; 24,699 did so in the Aymara language and 13,599 in Quechua; it is the third country to be free of illiteracy after Cuba and Venezuela.
Free medical attention is provided to millions of people who had never received it. It is one of seven countries in the world that in the last five years has most reduced its infant mortality rate, with the possibility of reaching the Millennium Goals before 2015, and it is the same case with maternal deaths, in a similar proportion. Restorative eye surgery has been performed on 454,161 people, 75,974 of them Brazilians, Argentines, Peruvians and Paraguayans.
An ambitious social program has been established in Bolivia: all of the children in public schools from first to eighth grade receive an annual donation to help pay for their school materials, benefiting almost two million students.
More than 700,000 people over the age of 60 receive a voucher for the equivalent of some $342 annually.
All pregnant women and children under the age of 2 receive assistance of approximately $257.
Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, has placed under state control the country’s principal energy and mineral resources, respecting and compensating each one of the interests affected. It marches along carefully, because it does not wish to retreat a single step. Its hard currency reserves have been growing. Evo has no less than three times what the country had at the beginning of his administration. It is one of the countries that makes the best use of foreign cooperation and firmly defends the environment.
In a very short time, he has been able to establish the Biometric Electoral Register, and approximately 4.7 million voters have been registered, almost one million more than on the last electoral register, which in January 2009 had 3.8 million.
On December 6, there will be elections. It is a sure thing that the people’s support for their president will grow. Nothing has been able to stop his growing prestige and popularity.
Why isn’t he awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?
I understand his big disadvantage: he is not a U.S. president.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 15, 2009
(This article was published on www.cubadebate.cu and the text translated into by Granma International)