November 23, 2008

Evo Morales in my Alma Mater

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Morales, in his recent visit to Washington, DC, chose to hold a speech at my Alma Mater, American University. AU, has been an important place for politicians (international and national) to express their views, when it was important for them that their words would resound inside the Beltway.

In recent history, people like John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter (who's no stranger to AU) and Bill Clinton, to cite a few, have used their time at AU to make important speeches. I personally, profited from this while at AU and heard the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton (1997), Shimon Perez, and others that scape my memory.

Morales was a natural to speak at AU, where progressive (meaning left leaning) ideas are the order of the day. Not to say that conservative ideas are not present. For what I remember, there is a lively debate between these two camps in campus.

But, as far a Morales is concerned, his speech was well received by the people. He got cheered when he entered the room and people laughed at his jokes.

Morales used this speech to try to convey, what it seems to me, a contradictory message to the future US government. He said he was expecting to have a better relationship with Obama and at the same time he kept attacking the DEA, USAID, the US Embassy in Bolivia, etc. I say contradictory because for the US government, if you attack the mechanisms that build that relationship, what kind of relationship will be built?

If you are interested to watch his speech, you can visit AU's speeches page. There you can download the video and watch it.