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News > Bolivia

Bolivia: Evo Morales Appoints Indigenous Woman, 1st Gay Minister to Cabinet

  • "The ministers know that #Bolivia and the Bolivian people are first, that's why they assume this responsibility." | Photo: Twitter: @evoespueblo

Published 24 January 2019

"Our goal is to continue growing economically and continue reducing poverty and unemployment. Economic growth must become the legacy of the Bolivian people."

Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma Wednesday appointed new ministers to his cabinet for the last year of his current term, confirming 13 ministers and reappointing seven others.

Bolivia Under Evo Morales: 13 Years of Reclaiming Sovereignty

Morales is reinforcing his cabinet to face the last year of his third term, before the new presidential elections coming up in October. The new cabinet, chosen for both their political and technical skills, will continue the work of reducing poverty in the South American country. "The reduction of poverty is our goal, our responsibility," said Morales.

"The great responsibility we have is to continue growing economically, (...) build new economic policies together, and social programs to continue reducing poverty," said Morales.

To accomplish this task, Evo Morales is summoning his right-hand man for economic issues, Luis Arce Catacora, the architect of Bolivia's highly-efficient and successful "socio-communitarian" policies. Arce Catacora is coming back to the cabinet after a year-long absence due to illness.

Juan Ramon Quintana will return as Minister of the Presidency (Secretary of State), after having been the Bolivian ambassador to Cuba. Oscar Coca will be the new Minister of Public Works, returning after managing the state telephone company, and nopw to be charged with the important challenge of constructing the Central Bioceanic Railway Corridor.

"The Ministers of President Evo Morales. Seven are new and 13 were newly confirmed (source: Ministry of Communication)"

But Evo Morales is also bringing fresh faces into his cabinet. The Indigenous and Campesino leader and, more recent, lawmaker, Nelida Sifuentes will bring new ideas to the Productive Development Ministry. Sifuentes was a lawmaker representing Chuquisaca, standing out for her work as leader of Campesino sectors and of the Single Federation of Native Peoples of Chuquisaca (FUTPOCH).

Manuel Canelas will take over the Communications Ministry. He was also a lawmaker in La Paz, elected in 2014 and has been the vice minister of Planning and Coordination since February 2018. Canelas, a Bolivian born in Venezuela while his parents were in exile, is the first Bolivian lawmaker, now minister, to be openly gay.

Gabriela Montaño, the new minister of health, is a doctor born in Santa Cruz, until last week she was the president of the lower chamber, leading the lawmakers of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) making her one of the most important figures of the ruling party.

"We have seen it. We are witnesses to the possibility of moving a country forward when there is a deep commitment by the authorities to the people," said Evo Morales to the new ministerial cabinet, urging them to continue the hard work.

The president concluded his speech by saying that "the economic, political and social data surprised everyone, not just those of us who live in Bolivia. That commits us to continue reinforcing, to continue expanding our commitment."


Evo Morales
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