, LA PAZ, Jan 23 – Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said Wednesday he wanted to produce nuclear energy, even though his country is South America’s poorest.
“This year, we are going to launch the Bolivian nuclear energy program, for peaceful means,” the longtime leftist president pledged in an address to lawmakers, starting the last year of his current term.
“We have decided to create a high-level energy commission. This is a priority of the Bolivian state,” said Morales, a former farmer and coca growers union organizer.
In office since 2006, the leftist president has been a critic of the United States, closely aligned with Venezuela.
Morales, 54, also touted major infrastructure projects he backs, including a rail system linking his Andean nation with Peru on the Pacific, and Brazil on the Atlantic.
He said he wanted to make progress on hydroelectric and thermal power as well, in a bid to become an energy supplier to Bolivia’s larger neighbors.