Bolivian president slams immigration laws at bullring

14th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Considering Europe’s historic links with Latin America, Evo Morales says it is wrong to declare Latin Americans arriving in Europe as illegal immigrants.

Leganes – Bolivian President Evo Morales lashed out Sunday at US military bases in Latin America and European immigration laws as he addressed thousands of immigrants gathered at a bullring in Spain.

Morales cited Europe's historical links with Latin America to criticise European immigration laws, saying it was wrong to consider those who avoid normal border controls illegal immigrants.

"As the Europeans and Spaniards who arrived in Bolivia and were not called illegal by our grandfathers, the Latin Americans who are coming to Europe today cannot be declared illegals," he said in Leganes, a suburb of Madrid, after arriving in Spain from Geneva.

"We all have the right to live in any part of the world, respecting the laws of each country," he said, noting that his government was working with the United Nations to create a universal citizenship.

An estimated 250,000 Bolivians live in Spain, but only 98,000 are legally resident.

The president also criticised US military bases in Latin America.

"In Latin America, where there is a US military base there are military coups," Morales said.

"To the social movements of Europe and the world: Help us to finish with military bases in Latin American," he said, citing the new Bolivian constitution, which forbids foreign bases on its soil.

Latin American governments have criticised an agreement between the United States and Colombia for the installation of US military bases in the country, which is battling a Marxist insurgency and drug trafficking.

Morales will meet Spanish King Juan Carlos I and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Monday.

AFP / Expatica

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