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The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, during a speech at the School of Journalism at the University of La Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires, said that “when the media are in private hands they are unpatriotic and against Latin America”. On the occasion he was appointed honorary Professor to the chair of South American Studies and Communications of that university and honoured as distinguished Visitor by the local city council.
”I’m not an expert in communications, but people become victims of different media,” said the Bolivian president to students and teachers present at the University, where he inaugurated the course on “Social Communications for the emancipation of the Americas.”
Morales said that “the important thing is to know where information and misinformation come from” and recalled his days as a union leader, “when most of the media were politically neoliberal”.
The Bolivian president said that the owners of these media “made a blood pact to implement policies of disinformation to the Bolivian people.”
”They, the media, said that multinationals bring jobs but that’s a lie. They never invest for free, they go looking to earn a lot and not a little” he said to a crowd who attended the talk.
”They demanded that we be aligned with the U.S., and we, the original peoples, can not accept that, we wished to free ourselves of imperialism and are now politically and democratically stronger”
Morales was accompanied by Governor Daniel Scioli, the national Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina, the Ministers of Justice, Julio Alak and Education, Alberto Sileoni, the national deputy candidate for the Front for Victory, Martin Insaurralde and the Dean of the university, Florence Saintout . In this context, the President of the Republic of Bolivia noted that “the media told us that the state could not manage things because it is corrupt and incompetent, and made so much propaganda to convince people and tell them they have to privatise everything and support the privatisation of water, electricity, gas.” He recalled that when he took office “they asked us to become allies of the United States, and we, indigenous people can not accept that, we became free of imperialism, we expelled the ambassador and we are now stronger political and democratically.” ”Thanks to the fact that we freed ourselves from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we are better off financially,” he said, and explained that “of course there will be cooperation between peoples, but not surrender”. Finally, he remarked that “I think that to deepen into this model we need the media, they demand freedom of expression, but there is a lot of that from the state, where freedom of expression fails is between the journalist and the owner of the newspaper, radio or channel.” For his part, Juan Manuel Abal Medina welcomed the launch of the chair in social communication and stressed that “we must put white on black on the information, put universities on the side of the people and put people on the side of popular struggles”. In that regard, he said that “after decades in which our politicians aspired to be received by the President of the United States, now we find ourselves with a situation in Latin America that again puts the process and the history of the region as an emblem”. ”With differences and particularities, but with the decision to work together, we faced the attempted coup that president Morales suffered at the beginning of his government, and then we supported in Ecuador Rafael Correa, and also in Venezuela after death of commander Hugo Chavez,” he said. The Dean of the Faculty of Journalism and candidate to the La Plata local government for the Social Front, Florence Saintout, welcomed the presence of Evo Morales and remarked that “he is part of a group of presidents who do not look like their people, they are the people themselves. Like Chavez, Correa, Fidel Castro, Nestor Kirchner, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff”. ”You are the presidents who brought back hope to the region. We will never forget your 2006 speech, “I can be wrong but I’ll never betray the people”, she said. Later she remarked that ” Evo is loved by all those who fight, who challenge the most dreadful right wing in the region and this is not gratuitous, because the right is well in place to stand against those who defend the rights of the majorities, because for them the majority are worth less than the bullets that kill them.” Saintout said that “when they can not do it with tanks, they advance in the name of freedom of expression with the hegemonic media, with terror and horror of Indigenous presidents, women, workers, they have agents who go to the embassies to badmouth our presidents.” ”But they cannot win even under the pretence of courage or by bullying, because we have these presidents who made a grave of the FTAA, who judged genocides, who made plans to say ‘I can do it’ in a region where they said we could not. The right is not going to win,” she concluded.