Archive for February, 2010

Bolivian Government Suspends Exports of Corn and Sorghum

February 25, 2010
LA PAZ – The government of Evo Morales on Wednesday temporarily suspended exports of corn and sorghum in the face of the rise in prices for the grains in the domestic market and to prevent smuggling.

The decree, approved at the regular weekly Cabinet meeting, was issued within the framework of the Bolivian government’s food security policy and was justified on the basis of the rise in corn and sorghum prices in the domestic market, which “affects the most vulnerable population in the country.”

To comply with the suspension of exports, the Bolivian government also ordered security forces and the customs agency to seize shipments of those products that people or firms might try to send to neighboring countries.

The export prohibition on the cereals will remain in effect until prices normalize and the country’s food security is ensured, officials said.

The measure comes after the temporary prohibition on sugar exports ordered by the Bolivian government on Feb. 19, a move also taken to halt the rising price of that product in the domestic market. That decree provoked complaints from the sector, which warned of production and jobs losses as a result.

Sellers of corn and sorghum attribute the domestic price increase for the grains to the increase in smuggling, the official ABI news agency said. EFE

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune

JAPAN INTERESTED IN BOLIVIA’S LITHIUM METAL DEPOSITS

February 25, 2010

NAM NEWS NETWORK Feb 24th, 2010

LA PAZ, Feb 24 (NNN-PRENSA LATINA) – Bolivian authorities are meeting with a Japanese delegation interested in the exploitation of lithium – a very important alkaline metal in this South American country used in batteries for electronic devices and electric cars.

The delegation is formed by officials of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and representatives from the main Japanese companies doing business on natural resources.

Japan imports some 13,000 tons of lithium a year and wants to negotiate and guarantee its access to Bolivia’s lithium reserve, the world largest.

According to METI, Tokyo will provide assistance to La Paz for the training of local personnel to extract and process the lithium and will transfer the latest technological advances to make more effective the exploitation of lithium deposits.

The Japanese delegation will also organise a seminar in the Bolivian capital on how to bring development to Uyuni, Bolivia’s main lithium deposit area. —

SourcE: PRENSA LATINA

L America, Caribbean should shake off U.S.influence: Bolivian president

February 25, 2010
Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday that Latin America and the Caribbean should free themselves from U.S. influence, which he regarded as destabilizing.

During a press conference after the closure of the Latin America and the Caribbean Unity Summit, hosted Monday and Tuesday in Cancun, Mexico, Morales said “this event is important to free all Latin America and the Caribbean from the United States.”

“We have discussed the examples of many countries; where the United States is involved, there is no peace or social justice,” Morales added.

He believed the summit extends hope to those fighting for social justice.

Morales said that the region can improve without the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States.

Source: Xinhua

Uribe tried to sabotage Mexico summit: Bolivia

February 25, 2010

evo morales

Bolivian President Evo Morales ripped into his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe on Tuesday, calling the Andean leader “an agent of the empire”, who attended the Rio Group Summit in Mexico in order to sabotage it.

Morales accused Uribe of only attending the two day summit in Cancun “for the photos and the lunch.”

The Bolivian leader’s accusations follow a shouting match between Uribe and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during a lunch for heads of state on Monday.

Morales told press that Uribe “provoked” Chavez with a “surprise intervention” during the Monday lunch and added that Chavez had “listened patiently” to the Colombian leader’s complaints.

“This event [the summit] almost got stuck in the mud and I’m not scared to tell the truth. U.S. agents came to try to hold up and make this event fail,” Morales said.

Chavez said Tuesday that Venezuela is ready to begin normalizing relations with Colombia.

Morales is one of several Latin American leaders, including Chavez, who strongly opposed the Colombia-U.S. military agreement signed in November, which allows the U.S. military to use seven airbases in Colombia.

According to Morales the U.S. use of military bases on Colombian soil is an invasion of South America.

Source: Colombia Reports

Bolivia plans bigger paycheck for punctual workers

February 25, 2010
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LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivians who arrive at work on time could get a punctuality bonus as part of a labor reform that aims to break the national habit of arriving late for everything from dates to business meetings.

In a bid to fight chronic tardiness in the impoverished Andean country, ruling party lawmakers have proposed a new Labor Code that calls for all workers to get the payment if they turn up on the dot every day for a month.

The bill, drawn up by allies of leftist President Evo Morales, also calls for companies to give staff a refreshment bonus to buy snacks during breaks and subsidize travel costs for those living more than 1.25 miles from work.

Tardiness is common practice among all Bolivians, even the president, who is often late for rallies and public appearances.

Morales’ supporters have booed him for arriving late on several occasions and journalists walked out of the presidential palace in anger once after he made them wait for nearly two hours for a news conference.

The labor reform will likely be voted into law without many changes because Morales’ party controls Congress.

Source: Reuters

Bolivia Extols Cuban Teachers Work

February 25, 2010

La Paz, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Ambassador to Bolivia Rafael Dausa highlighted on Wednesday the work carried out by Cuban teachers in Bolivia, as part of a post-literacy campaign program.

  In a ceremony at La Paz-based Jose Marti Square to mark the 115th anniversary of a Cuban pro-independence uprising known as Grito de Baire (Shout of Baire), Dausa said that the work carried out by Cuban teachers is also the fruit of the principles of solidarity of the Cuban Revolution, which contributed to declare Bolivia an illiteracy-free country in 2008.

This achievement and the plans to continue consolidating the knowledge of the Bolivian people is also a triumph of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), including a joint internationalist effort by Bolivians, Cubans and Venezuelans, recalled the Cuban diplomat.

National Director of the Post-Literacy Campaign Benito Ayma announced the opening of a national workshop to discuss thoroughly the goals of this program expected to reach more than one million poor people.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivian Media Extol Creation New Regional Organization

February 25, 2010
 
24 de febrero de 2010, 13:08La Paz, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian media highlighted on Wednesday Latin American governments” decision to set up a new regional organization, which excludes United States and Canada.

  In the Cambio state daily’s front page appears a special report on the Rio Summit that concluded recently and stressed the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States without Washington’s interference.

Cambio added that it is an organization to bring the continent together on the basis of respect to peoples’ sovereignty; therefore President Evo Morales described the meeting as historic.

Bolivian News Agency (ABI) reported that Morales denounced the Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s intention of aborting the creation of the continental organization.

El Dia, Los Tiempos, La Razon and El Cambio dailies also reported about Rio Summit held in Mexico.

Bolivian televisio channels TV and Bolivision, and radio stations Patria Nueva, Erbol, Radio Pachamama, FM Bolivia and Radio Fides also broadcast programs on the summit.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivia Halts Corn, Sorghum Exports

February 25, 2010

La Paz, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian Government has decided to suspend corn and sorghum exports as exceptional, temporary measure to stabilize prices and avoid smuggling.

  Minister for Rural Development and Lands Nemesia Achacollo explained it is a transitory measure intended to normalize costs of those products and ensure food sovereignty.

The Armed Forces, the police and customs offices will enforce the decree, and be in charge of seizing products on their way to neighboring countries, she declared.

The government will coordinate with local governments the commercialization and transport of those products at fair prices on the internal market, and speculators will be sanctioned according to the law, Achacollo stressed.

She also sustained that once the decree is promulgated, there will be no reasons for a rise in the prices of chicken meat on the internal market.

Local authorities made the decision in defense of national interest, faced with rises in the prices of chicken, corn, and sorghum.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivia Expects Large Attendance to Climate Summit

February 25, 2010

La Paz, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia expects that a vast majority of countries attend the World People”s Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth”s Rights, Deputy Environment Minister Juan Pablo Ramos said on Wednesday.

  In statements to Prensa Latina, the also Biodiversity and Climate Change minister was convinced that the event scheduled in Cochabamba on April 20-22 will serve to mobilize the masses in protecting the planet.

The summit will be attended by social organizations, indigenous people, activists, experts, scientists and institutions involved in protecting the Earth.

Beyond a specific event, “we try to achieve, through peoples’ conscience, to press developed countries to change the large scale capitalist, consuming and pollutant model,” said the minister.

Ramos stated that the Summit’s official website is receiving a daily average of 1,600 visits, showing the colloquium will have a vast assistance of delegates.

The Copenhagen Summit last December was a categorical failure for some developed nations’ intention of imposing a Final Declaration that did not include the main issues under discussion.

As a consequence, developing countries, including the nations of the Bolivarian Alliance of the People of Our America, vetoed that document, and Bolivian President Evo Morales called for another meeting.

SourcE: Prensa Latina

Evo Morales Terms Historic Cancun Declaration

February 25, 2010

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Playa del Carmen, México, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, described as historic the decision of creating a new integration bloc in Latin America without the presence of the United States.

  We have approved a document that is the base to build a new institutionality without the United States, stressed the President in a press conference held after the end of the summit meeting of the Group of Rio in Cancun.

Wherever the United States is present, democracy is not guaranteed, peace with social equity is not guaranteed, underlined the President of Bolivia.

Morales stressed the significance of the two-day meeting which gathered the heads of government of Latin America and the Caribbean and considered the results as a hope for the peoples who struggle for social justice.

The Heads of State and government representatives of 32 countries of that geographic area in the so-called Summit of Unity voted for the creation of a new bloc of regional integration without the participation of the US or Canada.

They also expressed their determination to reinforce cooperation with Haiti, devastated after the recent earthquake and adopted a document rejecting the prolonged economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba.

Source: Prensa Latina