Evo Morales in Cuba on Unannounced Visit

Evo Morales and Raul Castro during the Bolivian president’s visit last year to Cuba. Photo: Estudios Revolución

HAVANA TIMES — Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Havana on Sunday for an unannounced meeting with Cuban leader Raul Castro. Morales is in route to New York for the UN General Assembly Session on Sept. 24-25, reported DPA News.

The Cuban TV news said Morales was met at the airport by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez but gave no details about his visit.

This is the seventh consecutive time that Morales attends the UN General Assembly gathering since he took office in 2006, notes DPA.

Morales is currently facing a serious miners conflict in his country that involves workers of the state owned corporation Minera de Bolivia (Comibol) and the members of the 26 de Febrero cooperative, in a dispute over a rich vein this zinc-tin mining region.


2 thoughts on “Evo Morales in Cuba on Unannounced Visit

  • Jajaja! I am imagining the conversation between Raul and Evo. Wow, what an impact on the world those two leaders make. If only Chavez were there, then we would really have Curly, Moe and Larry back together again!

  • The COB/Bolivian Workers Central the Bolivian labor federation prepares for a 72-hour national strike by all affiliates starting on Wednesday to demand that the national mining company operate the mine in Colquiri.

    Failure to have a positive response, “after completion of the 72-hour strike, the COB will take a much more radical action to achieve the objective.

    Estallani Severino, leader of the miners in Colquiri , who participated in the meeting of the workers demanded an immediate solution to the conflict. He also criticized President Evo Morales, who yesterday ruled out nationalization. “It is regrettable, the President spoke when he assumed the responsibility of the country that he was to rule by listening to the people .

    He also called for the dismal of the government if it was not resolved.

    ORGINAL ARTICLE IN SPANISH: http://www.la-razon.com/economia/COB-va-paro-horas-

    The clash occurred at the Miners Labour organisation building (FSUTMB in Spanish, the trade union) when the private so called cooperative miners attacked it.


    -Bolivia: One Killed as Rival Miners’ Conflict Escalates
    Written by Pablo Andres Rivero On 21 September 2012 @ 16:01 pm

    The unresolved conflict between tin miners in Bolivia has escalated this week, keeping the country under tension. After another clash at the Miners Labour organisation building (FSUTMB in Spanish) on Tuesday September 18, 2012, nine miners were injured and one died of his wounds, all provoked by the use of dynamite in the conflict.

    The government has called for a truce, although mining leaders are still standing firm.
    As reported by Global Voices last week [1], the dispute involves private cooperative miners from the La Paz Departmental Federation of Mining Cooperatives (Fedecomin in Spanish) and employed miners from the state-run Bolivian Mining Corporation (Comibol in Spanish). Both rival groups are seeking to take control of the Colquiri zinc and tin mine, nationalised from Glencore International [2] by Bolivia’s government in June 2012.

    The conflict arises from Supreme Decree 1337, signed by left-wing President Evo Morales [4], which outlines the new operating activities in the Colquiri mine, enabling both private cooperative miners and the State-run Comibol to work there.

    Colquiri unionised miners refuse to give the cooperative miners participation, claiming that nationalisation means full state-control over natural resources. Furthermore, unionised miners are blocking the access of both police forces and private cooperative miners to the Colquiri mine, 92 miles (149 kilometres) from La Paz.

    The conflict between private cooperative and unionised miners is not new [5] [es]. In 2006, 16 miners were killed in the Huanuni mining centre under the same conflict terms. Back then, Evo Morales and the newly sworn in left-wing MAS [6] (Movement for Socialism) government also failed to prevent the clash.

    Bolivia’s Ministry of Communication uploaded a video on YouTube showing Tuesday’s clash [WARNING: Graphic content].


    Negotiations are still underway, although both groups remain in a “state of emergency” and more workers from other parts of the country are joining the protests near La Paz.

    Well-known Bolivian economist Horst Grebe (@horst_grebe [7]) [es] commented via his Twitter account:
    @horst_grebe [8]: Violencia y #ConflictoMinero [9] en La Paz no se limita a #Colquiri [10], Es la pelea política por el orden minero entre estatistas y privatistas
    @horst_grebe [8]: Violence and #ConflictoMinero [9] (miners’ conflict) in La Paz is not restricted to #Colquiri [10], it is a political struggle between statists and privatists.

    As a way out of the conflict, there are a number of unions, left-wing political organizations and thinkers demanding absolute nationalisation [11] [es] of the mining sector in Bolivia.

    Others, like Bolivian writer Fernando Molina, address the issue from another angle. In an article [12] [es] published on InfoLatam, Molina writes that:

    En estas situaciones extremas la única solución reside en la intervención de una autoridad. Pero el gobierno boliviano no tiene la claridad ideológica ni los recursos para poner orden. Por razones obvias, lo que quisiera sería estatizarlo todo, pero con ello se haría de una carga laboral que sería imposible de sostener en el momento en que los precios de los minerales caigan. Además, los cooperativistas más establecidos no quieren ni oír hablar de ello (y tienen la fuerza política para defenderse).

    In these extreme situations the only solution lies in the intervention of an authority. But the Bolivian government doesn’t have the ideological clarity nor the resources to restore order. For obvious reasons, they would like to nationalise everything, but that would be a workload impossible to sustain over time when mineral prices fall. In addition, more established [private] cooperatives do not even want to talk about that (and they have the political strength to defend themselves).

    Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
    URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/09/21/bolivia-one-killed-as-rival-miners-conflict-escalates/

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