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As Bolivia Votes, Questions of Gaza, Treason and "Dishonorable" Media, Indigenous on Move

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 27-- In Bolivia, a new Constitution has been adopted by a 60% to 40% vote, granting guaranteed representation to indigenous people in the legislature and allowing President Evo Morales to run for re-election in 2011. Another reported provision, however, makes it a crime of treason to oppose national unity. Inner City Press on Tuesday at the UN asked Bolivia's Deputy Permanent Representative Pablo Solon a series of questions, about treason, freedom of the press, Gaza and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Video here, from Minute 6:50.

  Ambassador Solon said that Bolivians "can't be acting to seek the disintegration of the state." He explained Morales' statement that he will forego local press conferences because only 10% of journalists in Bolivia are "honorable" as an attempt to express that reporting is "guided by the owners of media rather than the journalists themselves." Inner City Press asked for a comment, or percentage estimate, of the honor of correspondents at the UN and in the US.  Solon declined to go there, saying that media should be independent.

   One correspondent asked Solon about a report in the Los Angeles Times that the new constitution would allow Morales to dissolve parliament. Solon called this "false and baseless." Perhaps the job cuts at the LA Times have come too far. Then again, the Bolivian mission staffer who promised to send Inner City Press and the LAT citer the most recent copy of the Constitution had not done so, 12 hours later. For the draft that Inner City Press has access to, click here.

   Inner City Press asked about Bolivia's expulsion of Israel's Ambassador. Video here, from Minute 15:18.

Voting in Bolivia, Gaza policy and 90% dishonorable journalists not shown

  Solon said, we have broken diplomatic relations, which is more than expelling an ambassador. He explained that even though Gaza's far away, it is a precedent which undermines the multilateral organization of the UN.

  Given the predominance of Latin countries in the Axis of 10 which on January 15 supported Ecuador's amendments on Gaza over the EU's and Egypt's compromise position, Inner City Press asked Solon to comment on the analysis that Latins are more committed than the Arab states. We are a pacifist country, Solon said. He did not say that Latin Americans are far enough away as to support or at least talk to Hamas. What other way forward is there?

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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