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  • President Evo Morales raised fist salute for national anthem at Tuesday's official acts celebrating 194 years of independence.

    President Evo Morales raised fist salute for national anthem at Tuesday's official acts celebrating 194 years of independence. | Photo: Twitter / @MRE_Bolivia

Published 6 August 2019

However, the government has also laid out some of the challenges and areas of improvement for the country, namely the issue of femicides and technological advancement. 

As Bolivia celebrated 194 years of independence Tuesday, Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera said this year's independence day is being celebrated amid some of the country’s best economic results and heightened optimism, thanks to progressive economic policies. However, the VP also laid out some of the challenges and areas of improvement for the country, namely the issue of femicides and technological advancement. 

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"We will celebrate our patriotic day with good [economic] results and with optimism for the future,'' said Garcia Linera in an early morning interview with channel Red Uno. 

He also pointed to new forecasts from the think tank CEPAL, which predicted stagnation across the region, with an expected 0.8 percent growth, however, the same report said that Bolivia can expect a 4 percent growth in GDP, making it the region's fastest-growing economy for yet another year. 

Garcia Linera also celebrated rapid poverty reduction during 13 years of leftist rule under President Evo Morales. In 2005 extreme poverty stood at 39 percent, today it is 15 percent. "People feel that the economy is stable, they feel that there is political and social stability, and that allows them to gradually improve their income and living conditions," the vice president added.

Analysts say that the country’s growth and increased public spending is only possible because of the 2006 nationalization of natural resources and strategic industries, which have provided the government with the revenue needed to invest in infrastructure and social programs.

Garcia Linera said that propelling policies of industrialization of state industries is the only path to further prosperity and technological development. 

The government is hoping that a buoyant economy will deliver another electoral victory for the ruling 'Movement Towards Socialism' party in the upcoming presidential elections this October.

The Vicepresident then addressed a special parliamentary session later in the morning. There he highlighted the progress that his leftist government has made in decolonizing the state.

“The old colonial racialization of power that rewarded social whiteness and punished Indigeneity has collapsed before the conquest of real equality that has democratized social rights and opportunities.”

However, Evo Morales' right hand also outlined areas for improvement. He said the country must do better in reducing femicides, which remain at high rates despite new laws brought in to enforce tougher sentences.

The issue was acknowledged by Morales himself on Monday, when he announced he would be attending a march, organized by feminist groups, against femicides this coming Friday.

Official acts will take place across the country to mark Bolivia’s independence, with the main event taking place in the Amazonian city of Trinidad in the department of Beni.

President Evo Morales along with cabinet ministers arrived in Trinidad early in the morning. Former Uruguayan President ‘Pepe’ Mujica is also joining the celebrations with Bolivia’s government, arriving alongside the vice president.

The day's events will kick off with an address to parliament from the president and vice president, followed by a 'civic-military' parade at noon where the military, followed by social movements will march through the central plaza of Trinidad. 

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