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Evo Morales Asks COB to Defend Majority of Workers

Evo Morales Asks COB to Defend Majority of WorkersLa Paz, May 16 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales on Friday urged the leaders of the Workers

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Central (COB) to defend the majority of workers rather than a specific sector.

Morales participated in the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the town of Mineros, in the eastern department of Santa Cruz, and used the occasion to talk about the COB strike meant to force the government to change the current Law of Retirement.

The head of state asked “those small groups from the Bolivian Workers Union to defend the majority of workers and not just the privileged,” referring to the demand to raise miners’ retirement to 8,000 bolivianos ($1,147) with a raise to 5,000 ($ 717) for other sectors.

The president said that “the entire State treasury cannot be invested in State salaries or pensions” and stressed that priority should be given to the country’s growth through investment that will allow for the democratic distribution of economic resources.

Bolivia’s first indigenous president has called for dialogue on several occasions since demonstrations started at the beginning of last week.

Some analysts and government representatives said that certain leaders of the workers organization are simply campaigning to win supporters with the intention of launching the COB as a political party in next year’s general elections.

The latest to warn about the political interests of the COB leaders were Interior Minister Carlos Romero, and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Police Jorge Perez.

Both men said that there are marked political interests behind the protests, which began tepidly on Monday last week and have been gaining strength daily.

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