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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Evo Morales: "Fidel's a democratic man"
In an interview with journalist and Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos, Evo Morales states that Fidel Castro's a democratic man.

Later in the interview, when Ramos brought up the subject of drug trafficking, Evo terminated the interview.

You can watch the interview (in Spanish) at the Univision site (Videos sidebar, click on Evo Morales se molesta en entrevista) or at Internet Opina (link via Isaac).

Here's my translation (please credit Fausta's Blog)
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] . . .
JR (startled)
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
EM: . . . ask questions on my country's situation . . . You're turning this into an international confrontation and I won't allow it.
JR: (narrating) As Morales requested, we talked about Bolivia but when we got to the delicate subject of drug trafficking he ended the interview.
EM: (standing up)
JR: We have six minutes, forty questions . . .
EM: That's not my fault.

Commentary: I've watched Ramos's news reporting for several years, and while I don't agree with him when he takes a political stance (for instance, on illegal aliens), he's a crackerjack journalist and the above interview shows it.

In a minute he had Morales state his opinion on Castro's Cuba, and also showed Morales's personality through his insistence on not being challenged on his ideas by demanding "much respect". That Morales terminated the inteview when the subject of drug trafficking came up does not bode well.

Morales's enormous ego surely is well matched by Fidel's and Hugo's. It's not an international confrontation, Evo, it's an interview

Update, Friday, February 3 Evo's patience, tested

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