Bolivia’s socialist president lost a bid in February to change the country’s constitution to allow him to run for a fourth term.
So before Evo Morales’ third term is up in 2020, he wants to make sure he’s leaving his mark on the educational system.
On Wednesday, the coca-growing president opened an anti-U.S., “anti-imperialist” military academy.
“If the empire teaches domination of the world from its military schools, we will learn from this school to free ourselves from imperial oppression,” Morales said, the “empire” being the United States.
“We want to build anti-colonial and anti-capitalist thinking with this school that binds the armed forces to social movements and counteracts the influence of the [Cold War-era] School of the Americas that always saw the indigenous as internal enemies,” he added.
Antes Escuela de las Américas para el imperio. Ahora Escuela Antiimperialista del Abya Yala para el pueblo. pic.twitter.com/ymfk4HaiEe
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) August 17, 2016
The academy is named after short-term leftist president Gen. Juan Jose Torres, who was ousted in a coup in 1971. Initial enrollment is about 100, and the courses will be required to receive the rank of captain.
The defense ministers of Nicaragua and Venezuela were guests at the event, according to the Guardian.
Gen. Gonzalo Duran, who leads Bolivia’s armed forces, said at the ceremony that the new school, which could also teach soldiers from other Latin American countries about the evils of the U.S., would teach about “de-colonization, gender equality, intercultural understanding and social inclusion.”
Last weekend Morales dropped in on Fidel Castro in Havana for the dictator’s 90th birthday and declared him to be “lucid” on Twitter. His gift to the communist leader? Quinoa and Bolivian coffee.