Mexican rebel spokesman Subcomandante Marcos said today that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) will not accept the invitation by Bolivian president-elect Evo Morales to attend his January 22nd inauguration.
During a meeting with allies in the "Other Campaign" in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, on Saturday, in response to a question about whether the Zapatistas will accept the invite made by Bolivia's president elect, Marcos said,
"They invited us and we received the invitation but we're not going to go, because we are in the Other Campaign from below."
"We don't have relations with governments, whether they are good or bad" said Marcos. "We have relations with the people. And we have a lot of respect for the Bolivian people."
The statement by Marcos puts to rest reports in some Bolivian and international news media that the Zapatistas would be attending the inauguration of Bolivia's first indigenous president: reports that had raised eyebrows across the continent because the indigenous Zapatistas shun relations with political parties and the government in Mexico.
"And if the Bolivian people say yes, well, we respect it," added Marcos, "but we don't attend inaugurations for governments whether good or bad. Our way is more like what we are doing right now. That is how we have achieved all that we have won."
Later in the afternoon, in larger meeting with social fighters and sympathizers from the region, Marcos said about Mexican reality, in words that apply to all lands: "There might even be sometimes a candidate that wins with a good program. But as long as the problem of the system is not solved, the problems will repeat over and over again."
Still later, at a public meeting with 700 Chetumal-area residents, Marcos - speaking of this year's national elections in Mexico - forecasted that "the party in power will have different colors but will not change the
system," and invoked those present to "unite all the small struggles and then we will make a real change in this country."
Marcos - traveling the Mexican Republican with the civilian handle of "Delegate Zero" - made these remarks during his first full day of meetings outside of Chiapas. The rebel spokesman arrived yesterday to Chetumal, capital of the coastal state of Quintana Roo, where he will hold meetings and public events through Tuesday before moving on to nearby Yucata'n state and later across the nation.
During today's session with adherents to the Other Campaign - constructing a national anti-capitalist political movement "from below and to the left" - Delegate Zero presented various political organizers, an environmental advocate, and an "other journalist" from the alternative media to share their knowledge in key areas of struggle - the crisis that grips the peasant farmer, Plan Puebla Panama's development plans for the region, protecting the environment and constructing alternate media - with local allies.
Full reports (including audio and video: in the meantime see the online
video newsreel Delegate Zero Nears Quintana Roo, with an xray of the struggles Marcos found alive and fighting here today) are forthcoming from the Other Journalism here on Narco News, but, first, your correspondents are still
reporting the days events.