Bolivian government reproaches Peruvian congressman for calling the wiphala flag a «chifa tablecloth

File – File image of an indigenous man wearing the wiphala in Bolivia. – Gaston Brito/dpa

Bolivia’s Minister of Cultures, Sabina Orellana, has expressed her displeasure at the words of Peruvian pro-Fujimori congressman Juan Carlos Lizarzaburu, who called the wiphala flag, the official symbol of the State of Bolivia, a «chifa tablecloth» – a typical Peruvian dish.

«That is not tolerable. We do not insult any patriotic symbol of any country. Our patriotic symbols are constitutionalized and the inhabitants of this land must respect them and neighboring countries must also do so in the framework of diplomacy,» said Orellana, according to Bolivian radio station Erbol.

Orellana has reproached Lizarzaburu that he does not know the history, code and meaning of the wiphala, for which he pronounced in «bad faith». «This gentleman has dared to insult, to nick, our wiphala. Someday he will have to render accounts to the Bolivian State», he said. He has also called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take diplomatic action in protest.

Lizarzaburu intervened during the session on the proposed electoral advance and said that «in 2009 in Bolivia, the wiphala, that chifa tablecloth, was adopted by some social resentments». «So, let’s stop talking about origin, about nonsense, since there is nothing productive about it», he added.

Thus, he reproached part of the Peruvian deputies who replicate the discourse of the original and symbols of the Inca empire. «The American man arrived through the Bering Strait and Polynesia. If you feel that you are native, then the potato and the yucca, the goose, are native. We, those who were born in this land, are native to Peru», he reiterated.