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Archive for Bolivia

Newsline: U.S. to send ambassador to Bolivia for first time in over a decade

The United States intends to send an ambassador to Bolivia to help restore a “normal relationship” between the two countries, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale said in a video statement. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-usa/us-to-send-ambassador-to-bolivia-for-first-time-in-over-a-decade-idUSKBN1ZM2FL) The move, which would mark the return of a U.S. ambassador to La Paz for the first time in over a decade, underscores rapidly improving relations since the current interim government took over after the resignation of leftist leader Evo Morales. The United States has had a lower-ranking diplomat in the South American country since Morales ordered the last ambassador Philip Goldberg to leave in 2008, blaming him for opposition protests against his rule.

Newsline: Bolivia prosecutor seeks Spain response over embassy spat

Bolivia’s attorney general has pushed forward a probe into Spanish officials the South American country’s government alleges were seeking to help allies of ousted leftist leader Evo Morales who are holed up in the Mexican embassy in La Paz. The prosecutor said it had sought information on why Spanish officials, on a December visit to the embassy in Bolivia, were accompanied by Spanish tactical police. The incident sparked a diplomatic stand-off and Bolivia expelled Mexico’s ambassador and several Spanish officials. Spain responded with a similar measure. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-diplomacy/bolivia-prosecutor-seeks-spain-response-over-embassy-spat-idUSKBN1Z8005) The affair has tested Bolivia’s caretaker government, which took power after Morales resigned under pressure in November after widespread protests, evidence of electoral fraud and waning support from military and police. The government of interim President Jeanine Anez claims that Spanish security forces had tried to hide their identity to gain access to the Mexican embassy, which granted asylum to Morales’ backers including former senior aide Juan Ramon Quintana.

Newsline: Spain orders Bolivian diplomats to leave

The Spanish government declared three Bolivian diplomats “personae non gratae”, after Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Anez, said the country would expel Mexico’s ambassador and two Spanish diplomats. Spain’s move came after Bolivia accused the Spanish diplomats of attempting to infiltrate the Mexican mission in the capital, La Paz, accompanied by masked men in order to extract the former aide to ex-president Evo Morales, who resigned in November after weeks of protests over corruption. “This group of representatives of the governments of Mexico and Spain have gravely injured the sovereignty and dignity of the Bolivian people and its constitutional government”, Anez said on 30 December, and gave the Mexican and Spanish diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. Previously, Mexico said it will file a complaint against the interim government of Bolivia at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Its foreign ministry explained that the buildup of security agents around the Mexican ambassador’s residence violates his rights, established under international treaties. Spain has denied it tried to extract the former Morales aide. As a security measure, Spanish diplomats in their own country are sometimes accompanied by bodyguards wearing masks. “Spain categorically rejects any insinuation of presumed willingness to interfere in Bolivia’s internal political affairs”, the government said, and denied that “there was any aim to facilitate the exit of people holed up inside the building”. (https://www.neweurope.eu/article/spain-orders-bolivian-diplomats-to-leave/) Last month, Bolivia issued an arrest warrant for Morales, accusing him of “sedition, terrorism and the financing of terrorism”. He accepted Mexico’s offer of political asylum and stayed a month in there before moving to Argentina.

Newsline: Bolivia boots Spanish diplomats who visited Mexican mission

Spanish officials involved in a diplomatic incident left Bolivia amid accusations that they tried to help former high-ranking members of deposed President Evo Morales’ administration exit the country. Bolivian Interior Minister Arturo Murillo asked the Spaniards to leave even though Spain denied allegations that diplomat Cristina Borreguero and five of her colleagues were trying to help the officials out of the Mexican ambassador’s residence, where they have been holed up since Morales stepped down last month. (https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/world/article/Bolivia-boots-Spanish-diplomats-who-visited-14937846.php) The acting Bolivian government has initiated criminal charges against the officials for sedition, terrorism and electoral fraud and has refused to allow them safe passage out of the country.

Newsline: Mexico orders ambassador in Bolivia to return after she declared non grata

Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Monday it had instructed its ambassador in Bolivia to return to Mexico to ensure her safety, after Bolivia’s government declared her a “persona non grata.” (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-bolivia-diplomacy/mexico-orders-ambassador-in-bolivia-to-return-after-she-declared-non-grata-idUSKBN1YY12C) Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Añez on Monday ordered Mexican Ambassador Maria Teresa Mercado and a number of Spanish officials to leave the country within 72 hours.

Newsline: Spain to probe Mexico embassy incident that outraged Bolivia

The Spanish government is to send a team of investigators to Bolivia to establish why its diplomatic staff tried to sneak into the Mexican embassy in La Paz. Madrid said on Saturday it would probe a complaint from Bolivia’s foreign ministry who described the incident, which took place a day earlier, as a violation of its sovereignty. In a media briefing, Bolivian Foreign Minister Karen Longaric said senior Spanish diplomatic staff were escorted by hooded people and had acted “in a secretive and underhand manner” to enter Mexico’s diplomatic residence in La Paz. (https://www.dw.com/en/spain-to-probe-mexico-embassy-incident-that-outraged-bolivia/a-51822678) She questioned the motive for the pair to make the visit “accompanied by people with their faces covered and presumably armed?” It was not clear if Bolivia had derailed an attempt by Bolivian officials — who served under ousted president Evo Morales and who had sought refuge in the Mexican embassy — to leave the compound.

Newsline: Bolivia’s foreign minister says Mexico appeal to International Court ‘a mistake’

Bolivia´s foreign minister rejected claims by Mexico that it has ramped up its police presence outside its embassy in La Paz and is intimidating its diplomats, saying Mexico asked for police support and it would never violate international protocols. Karen Longaric said Mexico´s appeal to the International Court of Justice to safeguard its diplomatic facilities in Bolivia was a “mistake” and a “legal fallacy”, and the appeal should be withdrawn. “No one can file a lawsuit for unproven facts, no one can be sued for acts they have not committed,” she told journalists in La Paz. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-bolivia-minister/bolivias-foreign-minister-says-mexico-appeal-to-international-court-a-mistake-idUSKBN1YU133) “The government of (President Jeanine) Añez is respectful of international treaties, of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and, so national security forces would never enter a diplomatic building without prior authorization.”

Newsline: Mexico to take Bolivia embassy dispute to the International Court of Justice

Mexico said Thursday that it will file a complaint against the interim government of Bolivia at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said the buildup of Bolivian agents around the Mexican Ambassador’s residence violates international treaties regarding the rights and protections for diplomatic personnel and installations. Bolivian agents surrounding the residence appear to threaten Mexico’s right to give asylum to nine former officials of ousted president Evo Morales, Ebrard said. (https://apnews.com/5cbafb7d99d21c712fc3e61101da323a) He said Bolivian authorities had refused to allow any of the nine to leave the country. Since Nov. 15, a group of ex-Cabinet ministers and others loyal to former Morales have sought refuge at the Mexican ambassador’s La Paz residence. Troops gathered in larger numbers around the residence beginning Tuesday, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said. It also said drones were flying over its ambassador’s residence and that it had summoned the top Bolivian diplomat in Mexico to “explain the actions of Bolivian officials.” Relations between the two countries have been strained since Mexico granted asylum to Morales after he resigned Nov. 10 following a national upheaval over his claim of victory in an election marred by vote-rigging.

Newsline: Mexico says surveillance of embassy in Bolivia has eased after spat

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that excessive monitoring of Mexico’s diplomatic facilities in Bolivia had eased since his government issued a complaint about it a day earlier. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-bolivia/mexico-says-surveillance-of-embassy-in-bolivia-has-eased-after-spat-idUSKBN1YS10F) Mexico on Monday accused Bolivia of intimidating its diplomats in La Paz after a chill in relations since Lopez Obrador decided last month to give political asylum to former Bolivian president Evo Morales, a fellow leftist. Bolivia’s government responded by saying Mexico had hijacked a regional summit, and had dragged its feet in recognizing its new, conservative premier. Mexico’s foreign ministry said there was “excessive” surveillance of the Mexican ambassador’s residence and Mexican embassy in Bolivia by about 150 Bolivian intelligence and security service personnel.

Newsline: Bolivia’s Interim Government Appoints Temporary US Ambassador

Bolivia’s foreign minister has nominated Walter Oscar Serrate Cuellar as ambassador of a temporary mission to the U.S. Bolivia appointed an envoy to the United States for the first time in 11 years, as the right-wing caretaker government seeks to re-write the country’s foreign policy after the departure of Morales. Interim President Jeanine Anez, who replaced Morales after he quit, has broken ties with socialist Cuba and Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela. Bolivia also fired all its ambassadors except those to Peru and the Vatican.