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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 January 2006, 23:01 GMT
Morales inaugural speech: Excerpts

Following are excepts from Bolivian President Evo Morales' inaugural speech at the Congress in La Paz.

INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

The 500 years of Indian resistance have not been in vain. From 500 years of resistance we pass to another 500 years in power.

We have been condemned, humiliated ... and never recognised as human beings.

We are here and we say that we have achieved power to end the injustice, the inequality and oppression that we have lived under.

The original indigenous movement, as well as our ancestors, dreamt about recovering the territory.

SOLIDARITY

I want to tell you with great sincerity and humility, after I have seen many brothers in the city in the middle class, the working class, the professionals, even the businessmen adding themselves to the Mas party (Mr Morales' party - the Movement towards Socialism), I say, thank you very much.

I am very proud of them, proud of the middle class, the working class, the professionals, and the businessmen. I invite you as well to be proud of the indigenous people who are the moral reserve of humanity.

We must serve not live off the people.

ECONOMY

When we talk about recovering the territory we are talking about recovering the natural resources, and these need to be in the hands of the Bolivian people and the Bolivian state.

We were told 10, 15, 20 years ago that the private sector was going to solve the country's corruption problems and unemployment, then years go by and there is more unemployment, more corruption, that economic model is not the solution for our country, maybe it is a solution for an European country or African but in Bolivia the neo-liberal model does not work.

DRUG TRAFFICKING

We want allies in the fight against drug trafficking, we know and we are convinced that this business hurts humanity.

However, the fight against drug trafficking can not be an excuse for the US government to dominate our nations. We want true dialogue without conditions or oppressions or bribes.



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