BOLIVIA: Security tight as world leaders begin to arrive for inauguration of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president.Record ID: 687526
- Title: BOLIVIA: Security tight as world leaders begin to arrive for inauguration of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president.
- Date: 22nd January 2006
- Summary: INDIGENOUS WOMEN READING AND ARRANGING NEWSPAPERS; EVO MORALES CUT-OUT DOLL IN NEWSPAPER; WOMEN SELLING NEWSPAPERS (8 SHOTS)
- Reuters ID: LVAAI0K9TKPPUO4P6L8DNH3D4WU
- Duration: 00:00:27
- Topics: International Relations,Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Security was tight around the Bolivian capital on Saturday (January 21) as La Paz prepared to host world leaders and dignitaries for the inauguration of Evo Morales as President.
Morales will become Bolivia's first indigenous president on Sunday (January 22) and many hope it will herald a new era of peace and growth after years of turmoil.
The election of Morales, an Aymara Indian who came into politics as the leader of the Andean country's coca farmers, follows a shift to the political left across Latin America where free-market policies have done little to ease poverty.
Cuba's representative, Vice-President Carlos Lage arrived to cheers in La Paz. He expressed his countries "admiration" and "affection" for the Bolivian people.
Peruvian presidential candidate, Ollanta Humala, who arrived in La Paz early on Saturday, said "from what I see, the political systems throughout the region are changing, and that change is being driven by the people, and they've toppled presidents".
Morales, 46, herded llamas as a boy and never went to university. During his campaign in the Dec. 18 election which he won with 54 percent of the votes, he said his movement would be a "nightmare for the U.S."
He is an ally of U.S. opponents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Cuban President Fidel Castro. While he opposes the U.S. funded anti drug programs he has also promised to fight the drugs trade.
Bolivia has the second-largest gas reserves in South America after Venezuela. Morales has vowed to nationalise the gas industry, a key demand of the indigenous majority who voted for him, but he has ruled out expropriations and has been courting investment in Bolivia from foreign oil companies.
An unprecedented dozen heads of state are expected to attend Morales's swearing-in ceremony.
On the eve of the swearing in ceremony, Morales will be blessed by an Aymara priest at the pre-Inca ruins of Tiwanaku near Lake Titicaca.
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