Jorge Ramos (JR): What many fear is that you might imitate Chávez's authoritarianism or Castro's dictatorship. You've said that you admire Castro.
Evo Morales (EM): I ask for respect. They have a democracy [in Cuba] . . .
EM: . . . I've seen . . .
JR: Excuse me, you're telling me there's democracy in Cuba?
EM: Well, yes, if Fidel Castro's there, it's for the revolution.
JR: It's a very simple question: to you, is Fidel Castro a dictator or not?
EM: No, to me, he's a democratic man, who defends life, who thinks about the human being. If you think he's a dictator that's your problem, it's not my problem.
JR: You came to power through the power of vote, and you don't ask for democracy for Cubans?
EM: I demand much respect. Don't call me a hypocrite.
JR: I ask you, is that hypocritical?
EM: The hypocrisy surely comes from your questions. I demand much respect. Ask questions . . .
JR: It's a question
Why is it that the people of Central and South America never seem to get a break in the leadership of their countries? Time after time we see them go for either the strongman-thug socialist (e.g., Chavez and Castro) or the pathetic wimp admirer of strongman-thug socialist.
If Morales thinks respect comes automatically with being elected president, he has an awful lot to learn. And if he is still a socialist (or communist) after living in the 20th century, then he is not very teachable.
I pity the poor people of Bolivia who now have the opportunity to develop the level of "prosperity" and "freedom" of countries like...Cuba.
The brief interview at Fausta's blog doesn't fill me with much respect for Morales, I'm afraid; and I'll be interested to see how the country fares under his (and Castro's) inspired leadership.
Read the whole thing (Fausta links to the video in Spanish).