"This is the second independence, the true liberation of Bolivia," President Evo Morales exclaimed. "It protects all Bolivians and excludes no one."
Bolivia voted to adopt a new Constitution with over 60% approval last month . For the first time ever, Bolivian law will grant clear legal recognition of the nation's indigenous people, "those who have been the most discriminated against, humiliated and excluded," declared President Evo Morales.
The new Constitution formally enacted just last week (2/7/09) ushers in other important changes:
1) The state will take an expanded role in the management of the nation's resources;
2) Large land purchases are limited to 12000 acres;
3) President Evo Morales, as the first indigenous Bolivian president, will be allowed to run for a second term.
Bolivia remains the poorest South American country, but the new Constitution brings hope to the poor that they can shake their colonial history and take their lives and their country into their own hands.
I watched Evo Morales' inauguration while I was in Bolivia, and experienced the enthusiasm of the indigenous nations. Much like Obama, as the first US African-American president, signaled a dramatic and new era in the country's history, Bolivia knew that Morales signaled change. I hold him in my heart with great affection, and I feel like he is an ally in values. This new Constitution is a triumph of the human spirit.