Bolivia's Morales to invite Nobel Prize winners to inauguration

President-elect &to=' target=_blank>Evo Morales expects four Nobel Prize winners, several presidents and leaders of Latin America's leftist social movements to attend his Jan. 22 inauguration as Bolivia's first Indian president, his spokesman said Monday.

The coca farmer and former street activist plans to invite three Nobel Peace Price laureates _ former South African President Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala and Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina _ along with literature Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Morales' spokesman Alex Contreras said.

"We will be sending the invitations in coordination with the government," Contreras said.

But Morales will start international contacts before his inauguration by visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Jan. 13 to discuss relations, including Brazil's US$1.5 billion (Ђ1.2) investments in Bolivia's gas industry, according to a report by the Brazilian financial newspaper Valor.

"The Brazilian government wants to learn from Morales his real plans for the Bolivian gas," the paper said. Morales has said he aims to nationalizing the oil industry, but has yet to disclose details on his plans.

Morales has asked outgoing President Eduardo Rodriguez to also send invitations for his inauguration to the leaders of the Landless' Movement of Brazil, Indian movements of Ecuador and the leaders of the "piqueteros," a social protest movement of the jobless in Argentina, Contreras said.

Morales is planning two separate inauguration ceremonies _ the official one at the Congress building, in which he will not wear a formal jacket or necktie, followed by one organized as a traditional Indian ritual.

The outgoing government, meanwhile, said it has extended invitation to the presidents of a number of presidents, especially from Latin American, including Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, both close friends of Morales.

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