Bolivian Economic Growth in Region Highlighted

La Paz, Jan 1 (Prensa Latina) President Evo Morales on Tuesday highlighted Bolivia's achievements in 2018 in investments, employment, productive projects, among others, as a result of which the country has a leading place in economic growth in the region.

'We concluded last year with the satisfaction of having made great achievements for the benefit of our beloved #Bolivia. Again we are leaders in economic growth. We have exceeded investment goals, job creation, road construction and infrastructure,' Morales wrote on his Twitter account.

He said in another tweet that thanks to joint work and political and economic stability there will be better results in 2019, and urged to take care of the current achievements to consolidate as a worthy and admired country.

'We have achieved political and economic stability through the work by all Bolivians, thinking above all of the new generations. Therefore, social movements must take care of this heritage, which is economic growth, with new productive projects,' the Bolivian leader added.

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Bolivia to Receive Archaeological Pieces Belonging to It

La Paz, Dec 31 (Prensa Latina) Some 100 archaeological pieces are currently waiting in various countries to be returned to Bolivia during 2019, after several actions for the protection of heritage were undertaken by the Ministry of Cultures of this country.

Among the ancient relics are a keru or sacred vessel found in Argentina and another one in England, belonging to the Mollo culture - a pre-Inca people from 700 A.D. to 1400 A.D. - who inhabited the western part of the Royal mountain range, in the current La Paz department.

As part of the lot of objects to return to Bolivia is also a pot from the post-Tiwanaku era, culture developed in part of South America and after 1187 A.D.

The casserole is from the Netherlands, while another piece in the process of recovery from the United States is an eight-year-old mummy from the Inca culture.

Out of all these archaic components, 50 were recovered and 20 are expected to be in La Paz in January or February 2019, according to Laura Chambi, head of the International Relations Unit of Bolivia's Ministry of Culture.

Chambi explained the repatriation process is neither simple nor low-budget.

If there is willingness to return an asset, the process can take up to six months, she said.

The return has two stages, one, delivery to the diplomatic representation of the embassy or consulate, which delays the analysis of the piece, while the second phase includes the return process, with departure permit, diplomatic bag and piece insurance, she added. The Protection and Defense Committee for Bolivia's Cultural Heritage was reactivated this year, made up of several state agencies and security forces.

The Red List of Property Vulnerable to Illicit Trafficking, Theft and Disappearances of International Groups and Networks was created to prevent pieces trade, Chambi pointed out.

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Díaz-Canel: ALBA-TCP Summit in Havana ratifies Cuban

This Friday's celebration of the XVI ALBA-TCP Summit will be an opportunity to ratify Cuba's will to integrate Latin America in solidarity, said Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Councils of State and Ministers on Twitter.

The president said on the social network that Havana will dawn tomorrow hosting the XVI ALBA-TCP Summit on the 14th anniversary of its founding by Commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. We ratify our will to consolidate Latin American and Caribbean integration.

At the meeting, whose heads of delegations will begin to arrive tonight, high-level representatives of the 10 nations that make up this integration mechanism have announced their participation along with other invited countries and observers.

During the meeting, the member countries of the Alliance will discuss the commitment to Latin American and Caribbean unity and the need to strengthen unity in diversity.

The program released to the press indicates that it will also commemorate the 14th anniversary of the foundation of this platform that has promoted cooperation projects such as Miracle Mission, the Cultural Fund of Alba, the Latin American School of Medicine, the multinational Telesur and SUCRE, currency issued by the Bank of Alba in order to assess trade and financial exchanges between countries in the region.

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Bolivian Opposition Protesters Set Electoral Court on Fire

Protesters reject President Evo Morales' candidacy in the 2019 elections.

Anti-government protesters set fire to Bolivia’s Electoral Court in the department of Santa Cruz Tuesday night. The three-story building was destroyed by the flames. Protesters also looted and destroyed a state tax office and telecommunications building. 

RELATED: Bolivia Closes 2018 Among The Highest Economic Growth Rates 

The arson took place after a march by students of the University Gabriel Rene Moreno, who reject the candidacy of President Evo Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, who are seeking a third term in the 2019 elections. Some refer to a possible 2020-2025 presidential term as Morales' fourth; they are including the three years of his first presidency, prior to the approval of a new constitution and the foundation of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.  

Via Twitter, President Morales condemned the “criminal acts of the right-wing who say they defend the rule of law but destroy state institutions. Yesterday, in the name of autonomy, they promoted racism and separatism. Today, in the name of democracy, they promote violence and vandalism.”

Opposition groups behind the protest denied their involvement in the arson attack and argued that their protests were infiltrated by thugs.

In the video you can hear a man celebrating the arson attack, saying "we built the homeland today." The video was shared from the Twitter account "Bolivia Said No." 

Earlier this month the electoral court ruled Morales was eligible to run for re-election. Opposition groups claim the 2016 referendum on term limits, in which a majority of Bolivians rejected a possible 2019 run for Morales, should have barred Morales from running.

ANALYSIS: Bolivia’s 2019 Elections Ahead of Primaries: Runners and Riders

However, Bolivia’s Constitutional Court later ruled that term limits were a violation of political rights.

Violence in Bolivia, in the context of upcoming national elections, claimed a person’s life last week. Opposition groups have vowed to continue protests unless Morales reverses his decision to run.  

According to local sources, twenty students were detained by the police, which dispersed protesters to make way for firefighters.

Jose Luis Quiroga, vice minister of the interior, lamented the events in a press conference. “We want to lament the vandalic attitudes by opposition politicians who today have revealed their true colors, they’ve shown what they were planning, what they wanted to do.

Morales, Bolivia’s first Indigenous president and a former coca grower and union leader, has presided over Bolivia since 2006. Since then, the Andean country has witnessed steady economic growth.  

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ICJ: Chile 'Not Obligated' to Negotiate with Bolivia over Sea Access

The International Court of Justice can present three different scenarios.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague Monday delivered its ruling on the dispute between Bolivia and neighbor Chile on access to the Pacific Ocean in which the court said that Chile "has no obligation to negotiate with Bolivia" over the matter. 

With 12 votes against three, the United Nations court concluded that there is no such obligation.

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, president of the ICJ, opened the session by reading the preliminary considerations of the ruling on the contentious "Obligation to negotiate" filed by Bolivia against Chile.

He also presented Bolivia's eight legal arguments as a basis for filing the claim at the court and also for Chile's defense.

A day ahead of the ruling, Bolivian President Evo Morales said Bolivia's return to the sea was "inevitable" ahead of a World Court ruling on Bolivia's claim that Chile has ducked a legal obligation to discuss the landlocked country's access to the sea.

Morales made the comments during a news conference on Saturday just moments before boarding a flight to The Hague where he attended the verdict declaration session. 

The conflict over the maritime boundaries between Bolivia and Chile began in 1828 when the Chilean Constitution established that its territory reached the depopulated sector of Atacama, a proclamation that ended with its invasion in 1879. Bolivia lost 400 kilometers of coast and 120,000 square kilometers of territory.

The lawsuit filed in April 2013 called for a sovereign exit to the Pacific Ocean that Bolivia lost by force 136 years ago when its port of Antofagasta was invaded. In September 2015, the Court of The Hague rejected the Chilean request to declare itself incompetent and kept analyzing the positions of the parties involved.

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Bolivia's Morales: US VP Pence Leading Campaign Against Leftist Latin American Governments

Morales expressed concerns about the covert tactics implemented by the United States government to undermine governments in Latin America.

Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke to RT the United States' campaign against Latin American governments who dared to stand against the country’s hegemony and imperialism Tuesday.

RELATED: Maduro Calls on UN to Investigate Assassination Attempt

"There are no military coups taking place in Latin America anymore, as coups are now happening through congresses and courts. It's yet another mechanism used by the United States to deal with presidents fighting against imperialism," Morales said.

If these measures falter, Morales says, the U.S. resorts to provocations and talks about military intervention when it cannot bend Latin American governments and leaders to their will. According to Morales, an example of this can be seen in the U.S. treatment of Venezuela, where they have called for a military intervention claiming that democracy and democratic principles have been undermined.

"And this has been happening throughout our history. That's how they (the US) invaded Libya and Iraq. This is the same for all coups on different continents. Therefore, we must protect sovereign states and our natural resources," the Bolivian leader explained.

On Friday, Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State said that the U.S. is preparing to take a series of actions to increase pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“You’ll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people… We’re determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say,” Pompeo said in a reference to the May 2018 elections which Maduro won but the Trump administration refuse to recognize despite assurances by international observers who were present during the electoral process.

Since then, the U.S. government imposed multiple unilateral economic and financial sanctions on Venezuela forcing the country to face an unprecedented economic crisis.  

Morales also expressed his dismay over the international reaction to moves against the governments of Cristina de Kirchner in Argentina, Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, and Rafael Correa of Ecuador. At present all the three countries are led by U.S. backed governments and the ex-leaders are facing various charges.

"There are some serious problems in Latin America. In Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador, the presidents, who used to be the guarantors of the sovereignty and dignity of the people, are now being subjected to political persecution," Morales said.

Last week, leftist legislators of Eurolat, Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly issued a 25 point statement from Vienna rejecting the imperialist intervention by the U.S in Latin American countries.

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Bolivia's Evo Morales: 'We Are Close to Returning to The Sea'

President Evo Morales considers that Bolivia's demand, for a sea access, at The Hague's International Court of Justice is "on track."

Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke, in a keynote address in Villa Tunari in Cochabamba, addressing Bolivia's maritime request submitted to The Hague's International Court of Justice (ICJ), stressing that the world's social movements supported the country's bid.

RELATED: Bolivia's Morales Asks for 'Just and Accurate' Ruling in Sea Access Claim

"We are very close to our return to the Pacific Ocean, thanks to the Bolivian people. We hope this unity will continue in the battle to recover what is ours," said Morales, also noting that Chile must comply with the promises made so Bolivia could have a sea access.

President Morales said that "between October, November, maximum December there will be a ruling and any failure of the ICJ will be in compliance if we are States that recognize rights." During the event, former President Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze, Bolivian representative at The Hague's ICJ, was also made remarks.

Pdte. @evoespueblo desde Villa Tunari:"Recuperamos los recursos, recuperamos la patria, tenemos la nueva Bolivia. Ahora nos toca recuperar la salida al mar con soberanía y estamos muy cerca". — Min. de Comunicación (@mincombolivia) August 26, 2018

President Evo Morales from Villa Tunari: "We recovered the resources, we recovered our motherland, we have the new Bolivia. Now it is the time to recover the sea with sovereignty and we are very close."

The president stated that Chile violated Bolivia's sovereignty in 1879 invading Bolivia's territory and stealing over 400 kilometers accessing the Pacific Ocean. In addition, he clarified that Chile failed to comply with the Treaty of 1866 that recognized the exit to the sea for Bolivia.

"We are with the truth, we are asking for justice to be done". Morales also welcomed the work of the international legal team and the experts who are championing the cause.

In 2013, Bolivia submitted the request at the ICJ in an attempt to restore part of the territory and garner "sovereign access" to the waters it lost. The action aimed to force Chile into negotiations, arguing that they had previously offered talks which were later retracted. 

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Evo Morales Rejects Militarization of Bolivia-Argentina Border

On August 17, the Argentine Government set up a military base in the border city of La Quiaca, near Bolivia, framed in the plan for a reform of the Armed Forces.

On Thursday, Bolivian President Evo Morales rejected the militarization of the Bolivia-Argentina border that President Mauricio Macri has ordered. The Bolivian president said that the Argentine Government seeks to intimidate and frighten the Bolivian people, but noted that this action does not scare them.

RELATED: Bolivia's Evo Morales: 'The US Is An Interventionist State'

Morales said that Argentina's move aims to rattle Bolivia. "They will try to scare us; We are not going to be scared, we are a united people, with social forces. They will try to intimidate us, they will not be able to," he said during a Public event in Chuquisaca, Bolivia.

The president said that he does "not agree with what Argentina did these last days, militarize the border with Bolivia, in La Quiaca, in front of Villazon." 

On August 17, the Argentine Government set up a military base in the border city of La Quiaca, near Bolivia, framed in the plan for a reform of the Armed Forces which is promoted by the country's executive to carry out internal security tasks. However, the Argentine Ambassador to Bolivia, Normando Alvarez, confirmed that an Argentinian military base will be installed in Abra Pampa, Jujuy Province, 70 kilometers away from the border with Bolivia.

Social and other media reports claimed that the United States had planned to open a military base in Argentina, near the border with Bolivia, in order to fight against drug-trafficking and terrorism. But, the Argentinian Government has denied the allegation.

"No, they are inventions; why do we need the United States military if we have professional military forces that can calmly develop their task," the ambassador remarked.

"NATO and U.S. military bases are synonymous with theft, synonymous with looting, confrontation, war. We have profound differences with the capitalist system, with North American imperialism, but for that we need unity. If we are united nothing is going to stop our process of change," Bolivian President Morales commented.

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