Bolivia's new leaders break ties with Venezuela

Bolivia's new leaders break ties with Venezuela

Saturday, November 16, 2019

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LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's interim leadership says it has broken diplomatic ties with the Government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and ordered Cuban medical teams to leave Bolivia.

The announcement yesterday represents a turnaround in Bolivia's foreign policy following the resignation of Evo Morales, a socialist who quit after a disputed election that sparked massive protests.

Karen Longaric, the foreign minister of Bolivia's interim Government, also said the country is leaving the Union of South American Nations, known by its Spanish acronym UNASUR. The group was set up in 2008 by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and other leftists to support regional integration efforts and counter US influence in South America.

Longaric also says Bolivia is no longer a part of ALBA, a regional group that espouses socialist ideology.

In the meantime, Bolivia's interim leader says Evo Morales will have to “answer to justice for electoral fraud” if he returns home.

Jeanine Áñez made the comment during a news conference yesterday, a day after Morales insisted from asylum in Mexico that he remains the country's legitimate president because his resignation was forced by the military and wasn't formally accepted by Congress.

Añez was the top-ranking Senate opposition official when Morales resigned Sunday and says that the resignation of everyone else in the chain of succession left her with the presidency.

Morales left following massive demonstrations across the country alleging fraud in the October 20 presidential election — irregularities certified by a team of auditors from the Organization of American States. Morales had claimed victory in his bid for a fourth term in office.

Áñez said Morales “left on his own. Nobody threw him out.”

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