Bolivian President Evo Morales on Tuesday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans to increase his country’s defense budget, calling the move “inhumane.”
Speaking at a press conference, the Indigenous socialist leader spoke out against Trump’s proposal to give the Pentagon an extra US$54 billion dollars in military spending.
“Living with death is inhumane,” Morales said, HispanTV reports.
“Forcing wars only serves to sell weapons; living in constant war is genocide.”
The United States currently has the largest defense budget in the world. Last year, the U.S. government spent US$622 billion on its armed forces, IHS Jane's International Defence Review reports.
In 2014, the U.S. spent more money, US$610 billion, than the next seven countries combined, PolitiFact reports. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom, India, and Germany spent a combined total of $601 billion the same year.
Pointing out the connection between growing defense spending and attacks on undocumented immigrants, Morales said both are “signs of a culture of death.”
“It is better to approach countries immersed in conflicts through dialogue and not weapons,” Morales added.
Morales has been critical of most of Trump’s policies.
The Bolivian leader called Trump’s plans to build a wall alongside the county’s southern border with Mexico “discriminatory” and “shameful.” He has also spoken out against his plans to deport millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
On the environment, Morales expressed support for the Indigenous-led protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which Trump has approved reconstruction of.
On agriculture, Morales said that Trump and other right-wing politicians have no moral authority to criticize Bolivia for increasing legal coca cultivation from 12,000 to 22,000 hectares, Opinion Bolivia reports. He said they disagree with the plan because they want to “eliminate the cultivation of the sacred leaf throughout the country.”
When Trump snubbed Mexico’s government last month during negotiations on the construction of a border wall, Morales called on Mexicans to unite with their “brothers in the South” against the U.S. president.