Bolivia blames Cubans for stirring unrest, ousts Venezuelan officers

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LA PAZ (Information) – Bolivia’s interim authorities mentioned on Friday it had requested Venezuelan officers to depart the nation, and accused Cubans, together with medical doctors, of instigating unrest within the wake of the resignation of former president Evo Morales.

New Overseas Minister Karen Longaric mentioned Cuba would fly house 725 of its residents, largely medical medical doctors, after she raised issues about their alleged involvement in current protests. She had additionally requested all Venezuelan diplomats to depart for comparable causes.

The international coverage shake-up in Bolivia comes as protests towards the four-day-old authorities of conservative interim President Jeanine Anez roil the nation amid its largest political upheaval in over a decade.

Venezuela and Cuba had been key allies for leftist Morales, who swept to workplace because the nation’s first indigenous president in 2006 and resigned beneath strain on Sunday over a disputed Oct. 20 election.

The vote gave him an outright win however was tarnished by allegations of fraud, sparking widespread anti-government protests that always turned violent.

Morales and his vp fled the nation earlier this week, and got asylum in Mexico. However protests by Morales’ supporters have continued in capital La Paz, close by El Alto, and the central metropolis of Cochabamba.

In an announcement, Cuba’s international ministry denied its medical doctors had supported any protests. Venezuela’s international ministry didn’t instantly reply to requests for feedback.

Each international locations have backed Morales’ assertion that he was toppled in a foreign-backed coup.

Different international locations within the area, together with Brazil and Ecuador, have acted equally towards Cubans in current months.

The Caribbean island nation has a revered well being service and generates export earnings by sending greater than 50,000 well being employees to greater than 60 international locations. Cuba has been accused of mistreating its medical doctors and pressuring them to participate in political actions, which the nation denies.

Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez speaks to the media on the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, November 15, 2019. Information/Henry Romero

Police fired teargas at protesters in La Paz on Friday, whereas faculties remained closed and gasoline deliveries had been disrupted by street blocks.

Native media stories confirmed violent standoffs between coca farmers and police within the area of Cochabamba. Bolivia’s official ombudsman mentioned there had been at the very least 4 folks killed within the area on Friday and put whole deaths to date within the protests at 18.

The pinnacle of highly effective union Bolivian Staff’ Middle (COB), Juan Carlos Huarachi, mentioned on Friday the group was open to dialogue to assist cease the “bloodshed.”

“We’re seeing the military and the police mobilized, utilizing tear gasoline, firing bullets and that worries us,” he mentioned, demanding that the federal government discover a path to peace.

EVO RETURN?

Anez mentioned on Friday that Morales was free to return to Bolivia, however must reply to allegations of electoral fraud and wouldn’t be immune from investigation.

Morales resigned after an Group of American States audit discovered electoral irregularities and the navy withdrew its backing and urged him to step down to assist restore calm.

Within the first signal of a possible breakthrough, lawmakers from Morales’ occasion mentioned they reached an settlement with the interim authorities late on Thursday to work towards a brand new presidential election.

Anez has mentioned Morales couldn’t be a candidate in that election.

“No one has thrown him out, however sure, there’s a necessity for him to reply to accusations of electoral fraud, in addition to many allegations of corruption,” Anez advised reporters on the presidential palace.

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Morales advised Information in an interview in Mexico on Friday that elections might be held with out him. However no candidate from his Motion for Socialism (MAS) occasion has but emerged to interchange him.

Carlos Mesa, the main challenger to Morales in October’s disputed vote, urged Anez to schedule new elections by Sunday.

“It’s essential that the worldwide neighborhood and the nation know she has set a date and time,” Mesa was quoted as saying in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Reporting by Daniel Ramos and Gram Slattery in La Paz, extra reporting by Sarah Marsh in Havana; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Mitra Taj; Enhancing by Dan Grebler and Rosalba O’Brien