LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales swore in on Tuesday Quechua Indian Diego Pary as the Andean nation’s new foreign minister, replacing Fernando Huanacuni, a member of the Aymara ethnic group.
Since “the Foreign Ministry will always be the indigenous face” of this administration, the leadership has passed “from a brother Aymara foreign minister to a Quechua foreign minister,” the president said during the swearing-in ceremony.
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state, said that the change at the top of the Foreign Ministry “responds to new times” and “new challenges.”
“There will always be these types of urgent changes, necessary. Sometimes it’ll be like castling because we have to conform to the times we’re living in Bolivia,” Morales said.
Pary, until now the ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), thanked Pachamama (Mother Earth) in Quechua and the mountain deities known as Apus, “which accompany our actions every second.”
The new foreign minister also thanked Morales “for the great opportunity and honor” of being able to serve the country.
Pary, born in the Andean region of Potosi, is an indigenous leader, teacher, politician and diplomat.
In 2008, he was the deputy higher education minister, moving to the foreign service in 2011.
Huanacuni, who became foreign minister in January 2017, talked about the changes Bolivia has undergone since Morales took office in 2006.
“They say it’s better to leave through the big door. I have the honor of going out through the Great House of the People,” Huanacuni said, referring to the seat of government in La Paz.