Tuesday, November 24, 2020

CRIMINAL Suits await Morales


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LA PAZ, Bolivia: Bolivia’s interim leader Jeanine Anez said Friday (Saturday in Manila) that exiled ex-president Evo Morales would have to “answer to justice” if he returns, as his supporters clashed with security forces.
Morales resigned and fled to Mexico after losing the support of the security forces following weeks of protests over his disputed re-election that has seen 10 people killed and more than 400 wounded.
“He knows he has to answer to justice. There is electoral crime. There are many allegations of corruption in his government,” Conservative Christian Anez told journalists in La Paz.
The former president said Wednesday he was willing to return to bring peace to Bolivia.
Despite its interim nature, the new government has proved ruthless toward Morales’s left-wing allies.
Since proclaiming herself acting president on Tuesday, Anez’s administration has set about breaking ties with socialist Cuba and Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela.
Foreign Minister Karen Longaric announced Friday that Venezuelan diplomats would be sent home for “violating diplomatic norms.”
“All the diplomatic personnel representing Maduro at Venezuela’s embassy in Bolivia will be allowed to leave the country for having interfered in internal state affairs,” said Longaric.
Bolivia also fired all its ambassadors except those to Peru and the Vatican.
Meanwhile, Havana slammed the arrest of four Cubans charged with financing Bolivian protests and said it would pull hundreds of healthcare workers from the country.
Cuba’s foreign ministry said the group — including two doctors — were arrested in possession of funds withdrawn from a bank to pay the living expenses of more than 100 Cuban health workers in the town of El Alto, neighboring La Paz.
“The arrest came under the slanderous presumption that the money was dedicated to financing protests,” the ministry said, rejecting the “false accusations.”
Longaric said earlier Cuba was repatriating 725 “cooperation officials” from Bolivia.
It is part of a concerted effort to reverse the last 13 years of foreign policy under former union leader Morales.
The government withdrew from two regional blocs — ALBA and Unasur — made up of left-wing allies. AP



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