Mexican official criticizes Bolivian president-elect for inviting Zapatistas to inauguration |

Mexican official criticizes Bolivian president-elect for inviting Zapatistas to inauguration

MEXICO CITY – Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez on Wednesday slammed Bolivia President-elect Evo Morales for inviting the Zapatista rebels to his inauguration.”There should be one invitation to the Mexican government, which represents the Mexican state,” Derbez said, “and not to specific groups, like he has mentioned.”Morales, who was elected the first Indian president in Bolivia’s history in December, said he will invite leaders from various Latin American leftist movements, such as the Landless’ Movement of Brazil and the Zapatistas to his Jan. 22 inauguration ceremony.Latin American presidents and a spattering of celebrities such as prize-winning writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez will also be invited, Morales has said.Derbez’s comments came amid a war of words between the conservative administration of President Vicente Fox and the leftist Morales, a former coca grower who has threatened to expropriate Bolivia’s rich natural gas resources.Last week, Fox said that if the incoming Bolivian government doesn’t want to export the nation’s gas it should eat it.”The new government apparently has said that Bolivia’s gas will not be exported,” Fox said. “Either they are going to consume it or they are going to eat it. They have a lot of gas to export.”Morales responded Wednesday by asking Mexico’s president to show more respect.”He should not try to humiliate me and my people,” Morales said during a visit to South Africa.Fox’s chief spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, said Wednesday that the Mexican president will not attend Morales’ inauguration, even though he was invited.The Zapatistas, who support Indian rights and socialism, launched an armed uprising against the Mexican government in 1994 but have been largely peaceful since. On Jan. 1, rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos began a six month tour of the country aimed to build a national leftist movement ahead of the July 2 presidential elections.Vail, Colorado

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