Bolivian President Evo Morales opened Wednesday a new regional military defense school—a kind of anti-School of the Americas—which will offer courses on a wide range of subjects meant to counter the U.S. imperialist presence in the developing world, including the Theory of Imperialism, Geopolitics of Natural Resources and Bolivian Social Structures.
The new school, which will be based in the city of Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia, and named after former President Juan Jose Torres. will have an initial enrollment of 100 students. Morales, a socialist and Bolivia's first Indigenous president, has been a strong critic of US imperialism in Latin America, and throughout the world.
“Empires," he said at Wednesday's ceremony, "exhibit cultural racism because they do not believe in the popular sovereignty of the people.”
The Bolivian military academy is intended as a direct rebuttal to the infamous U.S. School of the Americas in Georgia , which provides military training to U.S. allies in Latin America, and whose graduates include a "Who's Who" of Cold War era military figures who carried out some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America.
“The School of Anti-Imperialism is a school that seeks to preserve life, unlike the School of the Americas, which brainwashed military officers into believing that the enemy was our people. It became lawful, proper and normal to kill people,” Bolivian Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira told the state-run media outlet ABI.
Ferreira went on to add that the training military training school seeks to promote an "anti-imperialist doctrine" that will help soldiers identify key threats to the country’s national sovereignty.
The school also seeks to train members of the military so that they rise up the ranks of coutry's armed forces, Ferreria stated.
Since his election in 2005, Bolivian President Evo Morales has implemented several initiatives in efforts to defend domestic and regional sovereignty.
Venezuela and Nicaragua’s Defense Ministers Vladimir Padrino López and Martha Ruiz Sevilla are also expected to be in attendance during Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.