Letter of Evo Morales to the Vth Conference

October 17, 2008
La Paz, Bolivia

Sisters and Brothers
International Conference of the Via Campesina      
Maputo, Mozambique

Sisters and brothers:  The innumerable activities that I now have as President of Bolivia prevent me from being with you, as is my constant desire.  Whenever I am informed about your activities, meetings, workshops and conferences I am filled with nostalgia because as a founder of Via Campesina I would like to be with you debating the problems that we have as a sector.

Nevertheless, in Maputo there will be representatives from Bolivia, my brothers and sisters who help me now in the struggle for a united Bolivia, above all egalitarian, without racism or discrimination.  A country when there are no first or second class citizens and where all have the same rights and obligations, with the same possibilities to study and access health care, where basic services are not a private service but rather a human right.

For this reason I would like to place for your consideration, with much respect, the proposal that I made before the United Nations (UN), the same one consisting of a 10-point plan to save the world, life and humanity, pulling together ideas on how to change the “external” debt for the ecological debt, to put an end to agrofuels and the privatization of water, electricity, education and health, communication and transportation, and to bet on a culture of “unity in diversity.”  

“10-point plan to save the world, life and humanity”

First.- Climate change is not the product of human beings in general, but rather the on-going capitalist system, based on unlimited industrial development.  We must do away with the exploitation of human beings and with the pillage of our natural resources.  The north needs to pay the ecological debt, rather than the countries paying the external debt.

Second. – War brings profits to empires, transnational corporations and a group of families, but implies death, destruction and poverty for the peoples.  The trillions of dollars destined for war should be invested in the Earth wounded by abuse and over-exploitation.

Third. – Relations of co-existence and not of submission among the countries of the world needs to be achieved, free of imperialism or colonialism.  Bilateral and multilateral relations are necessary because we favor a culture of dialog and of social conviviality.

Fourth. – Water is a human right and for all living creatures on the planet.  One can live without electricity but not without water.  Water is life.  It is not possible to tolerate policies that permit the privatization of water.  We need an international convention on water to protect the sources of water as a human right and to avoid privatization.  

Fifth. –  The development of clean energies friendly to nature will do away with the energy crisis.  In 100 years we are using up fossil energies created during millions of years.  Avoid the promotion of agro-fuels.  Lands cannot be set aside for the functioning of luxury cars in the place of food production for human beings.

Sixth. – No “expert” or specialist can debate with indigenous leaders about respect for the Mother Earth.  The indigenous movement ought to explain to other social sectors, urban and rural, that the earth is our mother.

Seventh. – Basic services, such as water, electricity, education, health, communication and transportation should be considered as human rights.  They cannot be made private businesses since they are public services.  

Eighth. –  Consume what is needed, prioritize what we produce and consume locally. Put an end to consumerism, decadence and luxury.  It is not comprehensible that a few persons seek only luxury at the expense of millions who are deprived of a decent life.  While millions of people die each year from hunger, in other parts of the world millions of dollars are dedicated to combating obesity.

Ninth. – Promote the diversity of cultures and economies.  The indigenous movement that has always been excluded is betting on unity in diversity.  A plurinational State, where everyone is included within the State, whites, brown, black and red.

Tenth. –  It is nothing new to Live Well.  It is simply a matter of recovering the life ways of our forebears and end with the kind of thinking that encourages individualistic egoism and the thirst for luxury.  Live well is not to live better at the expense of others.  We need to build a communitarian socialism in harmony with the Mother Earth.

This V Conference in Maputo will bring together, I am informed, more than 500 peasant leaders from more than 70 countries.  Its importance is principally found in the contributions you bring to try to resolve the current food crisis that impacts several countries of the world, above all in Latin America, where many producers are making a maximum effort to avoid a major agrarian crisis, impacted also by financial, climactic and environmental problems.

I would like to take this opportunity to express to you my great solidarity in the work and the struggle that you have been realizing for the past 15 years and wish you all the best success in your deliberations and for the approval of future areas of action in the struggle against capitalism and the creation of a new model of agricultural production that is sustainable.

With my greatest consideration, I send you a revolutionary greeting.

Evo Morales Ayma
Constitutional President of the Republic of Bolivia