Bolivian President Evo Morales says he can understand the Dutch decision to end development aid to his country.
Mr Morales said that Bolivia substantially improved its financial position and no longer needed foreign assistance. In an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the Bolivian president said:
“Some countries told me, ‘Evo we have helped you so far, but now we want to help other countries.’ They are right. Bolivia is in a much better position than before; that is our economic liberation.”
The Netherlands decided to end its development aid to 15 countries as part of last year’s revision of development aid policies.
Mr Morales said he was seriously concerned about the environmental activism in his country and the interference of other countries. He spoke of a new colonialism. “Capitalist countries destroyed the environment, but are now holding us responsible.”
The president pointed to the need to build power plants for the population of rural areas but said that construction of the necessary roads meets with strong domestic opposition, which Mr Morales said was being encouraged from abroad.
“The bosses of the NGOs and foundations live in cities, they have electricity and running water, while the indigenous brothers do not even have electricity. It’s a national debate, which has been raised to an international level."
Countries which have not even ratified the Kyoto Protocol now present themselves as zealous defenders of the environment. Not at home, but here, to make us turn on each other.”
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide