Festive Left Friday Blogging: Evo dines with the Queen

Look who had a royal visitor:

No, this wasn’t just some standard photo-op grip-and-grin with a beautiful Bolivian aguayo cloth. There was a greater significance to this royal visit than just pleasantries and gift exchanges. But let’s hear it from the president’s mouth:

At a youth forum yesterday in Cochabamba, 400 km southeast of the capital city of La Paz, the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, revealed that Queen Sofia of Spain told him, “Now you will be the rich and we will be the poor.”

Queen Sofia visited Bolivia from October 15 to October 20. On Tuesday the 16th, president Evo Morales gave a dinner in her honor in the great hall of the government palace.

“When the queen arrived at dinner, she was seated beside me, and she told me: ‘Evo,’ she said, ‘now you will be the rich, and we will be the poor.’ The queen told me that! I’m not making this up, the vice-president [Alvaro García Linera] heard it too.”

Morales mentioned the instance in context of the economic successes of his government since the nationalization of Bolivia’s natural resources in 2006.

“The queen was always asking me, ‘What have you done to elevate Bolivia?’

“Since the great global powers are no longer robbing Latin America like they used to, now they can no longer be so powerful. The theft of our natural resources has ended and in a short time, we have raised ourselves up,” said Morales.

Drawing a comparison with the social development of his own country, Morales continued: “What are they calling for in Spain? An assembly to rewrite the constitution. And here, we had a constituent assembly, as well as in Venezuela, and in Ecuador they also achieved a new beginning by way of their constituent assembly.

“How many years has it been since the Moncloa Pact [of 1977] did away with military dictatorships? But they think they’ve resolved their internal problems, and they haven’t resolved them. Europe’s problems are worsening,” added Morales.

Translation mine. Linkage added.

And as usual, Evo hits it right on the nose. In fact, earlier this year, there were calls in Spain for a “second Moncloa Pact”. Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by the European monetary crisis, and the antideficit measures they’ve had to bow to will only make matters worse. Half of all young Spaniards are now out of work, and the protests are going on nonstop, with sporadic riots every time the police attempt to crack down on the dissenters. Many have fled Spain for wherever they can find work; ironically (considering the role of Angela Merkel and the German bankers in precipitating the whole crisis), many are doing so in Germany. Things are going to get worse all over Europe before they get better.

Meanwhile, Bolivia is on the up and up. It used to be Latin America’s poorest country; not anymore! Two weeks ago, in this same slot, I showed you Evo’s enviable numbers. I’m betting the Spanish prime minister would kill for anything even half so good (he’s no more popular than Franco ultimately was, at this point, and for good reason; he’s from the same fascist party). And if Queen Sofia came away with anything from this visit, besides that gorgeous length of aguayo, I hope she takes Rajoy aside for a stern talking-to and holds up Evo’s Bolivia as the good example Europe really needs.

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