192 Anniversary of the Independence of Bolivia

August 6, 2017
192 Anniversary of the Independence of Bolivia

Jallalla Brothers and Sisters
We are grateful for your assistance and we are honored to accompany you, brother and sister ambassadors
To the experts, experts who are part of the delegations of diplomatic representation,
To the Bolivian community that always accompanies us,
To the community that is not Bolivian, but always with us and we consider as Bolivians.

 

On August 6 Bolivians celebrate 192 years of signing our Independence Act
We are born as a State, on the territorial basis of the old Real Audiencia of Charcas or Alto Peru, with approximately 2 million km² of territorial extension, from the maritime coasts of the Pacific, to the eastern Amazon.

 

The official history narrates 15 years of libertarian battles of the patriots that lead us to independence, this must be completed with the deep and long history, written forever by our native indigenous peoples, who were rebelious and resisted the Colony since its inception, defended their resources, their lands, but above all their freedom. Independence was not a circumstantial outbreak, but the culmination of a process with pre-revolutionary moments.

 

Our history of emancipation must be narrated from the uprisings led by Tupac Katari, Tupac Amaru, Bartolina Sisa, all captured and executed.

 

This struggle was also fought in the cultural dimension, which was aimed at keeping the cultural heritage alive, as for example with the coca leaf. Remember that dogmatic provisions were used against the coca leaf. The same happened with our quinoa, which was called during the colonial period “food of the Indians”, this is the way they called this grain that constituted the main daily food for the millenarian cultures. In Quechua it is called “chisiya mama”, that means “mother grain” in Spanish.
Bolivia, lived through its next phase of history, another unfortunate cycle of sagas of transnational extractive activities that was no longer based on silver or gold. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, territory rich in guano, saltpeter, borax, copper and silver were taken away from us due to an armed invasion.
Augusto Céspedes, a famous Bolivian author, writes: “Is the goddess made of gold, silver or is it tin?, it is of soil, with 75% of tin”, after the colonial dispossession stage another neo-colonial era opens, first the tin and then petroleum.
At the beginning of the year 2000, Bolivia experienced again intense cycles of protest against the public policies that followed the traces left by the theory of “structural adjustment programs” that benefited mainly the hostile external financial capital, to the detriment of the population, especially the working class, peasants and indigenous people.
In Bolivia’s entire economic history until 2005, (approximately 180 years), she had only accumulated 1,714 million in international reserves. Since 2006, with the application of the Economic, Social, Communitarian and Productive  Model, from the nationalization of strategic natural resources, international reserves increased almost eight times the value of 2005, registering 13 billion in 2015.
This Economic Model rises from a new stage in our history that has been emerging with the first indigenous president and trade union leader, who achieved a 54% popular vote in 2005 and carries out the Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitutional text, Which was submitted to a referendum in 2009 and was approved with 61% of votes, being promulgated the same year,  giving way to the Plurinational State of Bolivia as a Social, Unitary, free, independent, sovereign, democratic, intercultural and based in Plurinational Law state.

 

The floors of government structures underwent sharp changes.
For example, in the general elections of 2005, the last of the liberal periods, 23 women (1 senator and 22 deputies) were elected, which means 14% of the then National Parliament; While in the general elections of 2014, under the terms of the new Political Constitution, 82 women, or 49% of the current Plurinational Legislative Assembly, were elected. Percentage that placed Bolivia as the second country of the world with gender equality in the Legislative Assembly.

 

Thus, it is also possible to recognize 36 official languages ​​and install as principles, values ​​and ends of the state the notions of the qamaña sum (live well), ñandereko (harmonious life), teko kavi (good life), ivi maraei (land without evil) and qhapaj Ñan (road or noble life).
For all the above we maintain that it is also a cultural revolution.
Our culture gives us vitality and cohesion as a society, so we preserve and promote it. Here I would like to express my gratitude to Willy Claure for his contribution to the Bolivian cultural heritage and for being a cultist of traditional Bolivian “Cueca”(traditional music and dance), who agreed to share his talent with us today.

 

Based on these paradigms, the Economic, Social, Communitarian and Productive Model was organized. This context narrative was necessary to understand the aims of a political, economic, social and cultural project, which we call the “process of change”, founded and applied every day since 2006. Like every walker, there is always a way to go and it is also a moment to reflect on the coherence and political, philosophical integrity of our actions as public servants of our country.

As a result of the implementation of the Economic Model, unprecedented results were achieved in the eradication of poverty through income redistribution. Moderate poverty was 61 per cent in 2005 and 39 per cent in 2016 and extreme poverty, which was 38 per cent in 2005, fell to 18 per cent in 2016. The millennium goal of reducing extreme poverty by 2015 was met with anticipation in 2011.

The growth of the country’s economic activity, social policy and the redistributive mechanism, had a significant reduction in income inequality, between 2005 and 2016 the Gini Index fell from 0.60 to 0.46.
The largest transfer for social expenditure was in the education sector, which accounted for 46% of the total spending by 2015, followed by social protection with 35% and health with 15%.
I allow myself to share with you, some key milestones of our contributions to the international system.

 

The Plurinational State of Bolivia promoted the International Day of Mother Earth as an expression used to refer to the planet Earth in various countries and regions, with the aim of demonstrating the interdependence between human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit, which we call our Pachamama.
After the winter solstice, the soil is prepared for sowing and it is precisely in August when we say, in the Andes, in the valleys, that we have to feed the land so that the food it produces returns to all and we offer the Pachamama flowers, sweets , coca leaves and we thank her for her fertility before the beginning of a new agricultural cycle. This is another reason why August is an important month.
Brothers and Sisters…
As we are convinced that our Andean peoples have protected and preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations thanks to their traditional knowledge in harmony with Mother Earth, the year 2013 was promoted to be declared as the “International Year of the Quinoa” Thus contributing to the reduction of world hunger and malnutrition with food sovereignty.

 

Likewise, we were part of the efforts before the United Nations General Assembly to proclaim 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which aims to draw attention to preserving, revitalizing and promoting them.

 

Therefore, Bolivia actively participated in the Resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations for the Promotion of Inclusive and Responsible Public Services for Sustainable Development, which recognizes that indigenous peoples and local communities contribute to improve efficiency, efficacy and transparency of the public administration and took into account the traditional principles of the Andean people, ama ama suwa (do not be a thief), ama llulla (do not be a liar) and love qhilla (do not be lazy).

 

On June 20 and 21, 2017, the social movements, and citizens of the world, gathered in Bolivia around the World Conference of Peoples for a World without Walls towards the Universal Citizenship, an event in which was heard testimonies from migrants and refugees, was discussed collectively from the historical memory and the plurality of identities, resulting in a Declaration before the States and the International Community regarding the migratory crisis and our Mission referred to the different human rights bodies with the objective of contributing from alternative visions with the Global Pact for Migration.

 

Our responsibility to the peoples of the world is materialized through what we call the Diplomacy of Peoples, which is to facilitate dialogue for all, promoting not only the relationship between States but also between Peoples. That is why Bolivia reaffirms its commitment to the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other Persons Working in Rural Areas and invites States to join in their efforts to achieve a rapid consensus.

 

On the other hand, ratifying our responsibilities before the different multilateral organizations.

 

We are pleased to announce at this meeting that the Plurinational State of Bolivia is conscientiously preparing the Trade Policy Review, to be presented by Bolivia in November 2017 at the headquarters of the World Trade Organization.

 

At regional level, our integrating geographic vocation led us to sign the Protocol of adhesion to the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR). With our entrance, we contribute to consolidate the South American integration process, based on mutual reinforcement and convergence of sub regional integration efforts and mechanisms. It also opens new spaces for trade, productive integration and investment.

 

“Bolivia is a pacifist state, which promotes a culture of peace and the right to peace, as well as cooperation among the peoples of the region and the world, in order to contribute to mutual knowledge, equitable development and the promotion of Inter-culturalism, with full respect for the sovereignty of States. ”

 

The Plurinational State of Bolivia, consistent with the culture of peace and dialogue, promoted the XIII Meeting of the Border Committee to solve problems not only of border character, but also of other spheres of the bilateral relation. In terms of border facilitation, Bolivia and Chile agreed to improve border control services between the two countries in order to guarantee the operation of integral control.

 

With this vocation of dialogue on April 24, 2013, Bolivia filed a case against Chile before the International Court of Justice so that this high tribunal of the United Nations can determine the negotiation of a sovereign exit to the Pacific coast, based on the commitments that were made in 1904. At the same time, our Bolivian legal team works with great rigor to respond to the demand of Chile on our waters of the Silala River.

 

I conclude, in time to reiterate our appreciation for your assistance, especially to a group of Bolivian professionals with whom  I had the opportunity to meet and work with and for that I thank them and value their high qualification, the independent, persistent, and complete  careers  that they have demonstrated which  shows the human quality of the Bolivians abroad.

 

Allow me to read a passage that proclaim our Constitution:”We left in the past the colonial, republican and neoliberal state. We assume the historical challenge of collectively building the Social Unitary State of Plurinational Community Law, which integrates and articulates the purposes of moving towards a democratic, productive and inspiring Bolivia committed to integral development and self-determination of the Peoples.”

 

Jallalla Brothers and Sisters!

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