“I want to declare myself a Marxist and a communist. Let’s see if the OAS expels me.” During his speech at the seventh summit meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, recalled the documents of the Organization of American States that resulted in Cuba being expelled from the organization in 1962 and described the importance of reflecting on the motives for that expulsion.

The resolution asserts that the adherence of any member-country of the organization to Marxism-Leninism, or the association of any member-government with the communist bloc, broke the unity and solidarity of the hemisphere. Therefore, given that the government of Cuba identified itself as Marxist-Leninist, it was incompatible with the purpose of the OAS and was excluded from participating.

“I want to declare myself a Marxist and a communist. Let’s see if the OAS expels me. Cuba was expelled for being Leninist, Marxist, communist,” Morales declared. “I want to say to the members of the OAS here, I want to declare myself Marxist, Leninist, communist, socialist. And now let them expel me. I want them to expel me from the OAS. It is unbelievable that for being Marxist-Leninist one can be expelled from the OAS.” He referred to the recent declarations by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, that there is no democracy in Cuba. He recalled that once when he was in the United States he found out that candidates who do not win more than 50 per cent of the votes cannot be sworn in, and the vote has to occur again. “The United States has no right or authority to speak of democracy, because they are the ones that foster coups, military coups, just as they are now arming a civic coup in Bolivia.” He drew attention to the fact that in Cuba, on the other hand, they exercise full democracy, where bribes or million-dollar campaigns do not exist.

Morales proposed the creation of an ALBA Council for Human Rights. This proposal is a departure from the situation where there exist many institutions that issue reports on human rights but the only thing they do is report on anti-imperialist governments. “No matter what good things we do, they never recognise them. They do not take into consideration that we are in a process of liberation, of deep transformation,” he declared. He stated that those international human-rights institutions only condemn governments of liberation. Therefore, in this framework he proposed the creation of an ALBA Council for Human Rights, to be able to state the truth on human rights.

He pointed out that the general objective should be to investigate and denounce political, military and cultural interference, carry out investigations of policies that go against our countries, establish a permanent system of monitoring media attacks, exchange information among countries that make up the council to evaluate systematic violations of human rights, and promote the exercise of human rights, especially in regard to the sovereignty and self-determination of the member-countries.

According to his proposal, the council would be made up of representatives of all the member-countries, representatives of social movements, human rights experts, and representatives of any non-member country that wanted to be part of the council.

President Morales expressed his thanks for all the international solidarity he received during his recent struggle for the approval of an electoral law in Bolivia and expressed his enormous satisfaction at being present as part of the anti-imperialist struggle, which he declared is the struggle of our peoples.