Source Pravda.Ru

Morales repeats vow to kill anti-coca programs

Coca-growing Socialist firebrand Evo Morales, celebrating his decisive first-place finish in Bolivia's presidential race, vowed Monday to respect private property but repeated his vow to kill a U.S.-backed crusade against coca plants, the raw material for &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2002/01/19/25861.html' target=_blank>cocaine.

Unofficial results showed Morales with a smashing victory over seven opponents that would make him the first Indian president in the 180-year history of independent Bolivia and solidify a continental shift to the political left.

Morales was congratulated by Venezuela's self-proclaimed revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez and by the more centrist Socialist president of Chile, Ricardo Lagos. No early call came from the United States, and Morales said, "neither was I expecting one."

But a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Jan Edmondson, later told reporters in Washington that "while official results have not yet been released, we congratulate Evo Morales on his apparent victory."

She said the U.S. has had good relations with Bolivia in the past and "we're prepared to work to build the same relationship with the next government."

Apparently trying to reassure foreign investors, Morales said that his government would respect private property even as it asserts state ownership over Bolivia's vast natural gas reserves. Multinational companies would be paid to help in exploration and to develop the industry, he said.

A governing Movement Toward Socialism party "is not only going to respect, but is going to protect private property," although "vacant, unproductive land" would be turned over to farmers with no land or very little, he said.

The very site of the news conference showed that victory hasn't mellowed his crusade against U.S. coca-eradication efforts. It was held at the offices of the coca growers union where he rose to political prominence.

Comments
Russia’s sanctions against Ukraine send message to Washington
Russia sells arms to Asia to maintain peace in the world
The Amazon and the New Conquistadores
Putin's three days in Singapore mark Russia's major geopolitical changes since 2000
Castro sued over alleged torture
Macron challenges Trump. French independence and croissants at stake
Castro sued over alleged torture
Malaysia complains of faulty Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets
Castro sued over alleged torture
Castro sued over alleged torture
Putin dislikes the idea of US army bases coming to Kuril Islands
Castro sued over alleged torture
Putin's three days in Singapore mark Russia's major geopolitical changes since 2000
Putin's three days in Singapore mark Russia's major geopolitical changes since 2000
Russians lose faith in their future, get ready for worse
Macron challenges Trump. French independence and croissants at stake
Russia unveils nuclear-powered interstellar spaceship
Russia unveils nuclear-powered interstellar spaceship
Moving inexorably towards war
Russians lose faith in their future, get ready for worse
Sanctions do not stop foreign countries from buying Russia's S-400 systems