Sunday, January 22, 2006

Evo Morales in Tiwanaku

Bolivia's president pre-inauguration and inauguration news are surely going to echo in the whole Bolivian blogosphere. I will merely post interesting links (all in English! Click Away!):
The wiphala, an Inca symbol?
The BBC news page that depicts the wiphala flag, claims that this was the flag of the Inca empire. In this other page, Dra Zamudio describes the evidence that would back such an assertion, this symbol might even have been from older times.

However, Javier Escalante from the Dirección Nacional de Arqueología disagrees. According to him the wiphala flag and the famous solstice ceremonies are inventions that can be dated to twenty years ago. Such a claim cannot go unnoticed. Indeed some aymara authorities from other countries generously used unkind adjectives to describe the archeologist.

This wikipedia page gives us more detail on the wiphala flag. It makes sense to think that the design appearing in the wiphala follows an old pattern whilst its depiction in a flag is something very recent.

Unusual guests
It is also worth emphasizing the presence of some unusual guests. Evo Morales announced the return to a more strict hidrocarbons policy towards Chile. Yet, he invited the Chilean president, Ricardo Lagos, to the ceremony. Lagos accepted the invitation, his coming to Bolivia is a turning point in Bolivia-Chile relations. At least in a public relations sense.

Also, notice the presence of Slovene president, Janez Drnovsek, the only European president attending the ceremony. He has been very active internationally to promote awareness of the Darfur crisis in Sudan as pointed out in a comment to a previous post. In the same comments section Jonathan mentions the visit of president Mahamed Allbdelaziz from the Western Sahara Republic. He led the polisarian guerilas to free his country from Spanish rule in 1976. After the Spanish withdrawal, war ensued with neighboring countries Morocco and Mauritania. You can find more history in this wikipedia article. Although many countries do not recognize this young republic, Bolivia did in 1983. Somewhere I read that half of South American and Caribbean countries recognize this republic.

I read some accounts of Evo Morales' speech. He emphasized the diversity of Bolivia, dismissing revenge policies against K'aras (whities) and privileged groups that some people would want to pursue. He also announced the end of the colonial state. Indigenous peoples would have a new role in this new state. As more analyses of his speech appear in blogs, I will add links.



Post a Comment

<< Home