Archive for Bolivia
Palestine will open an embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, according to the president of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas. “We will never forget the decisions made by Morales during the Israeli aggression against the Palestine people. We are honored and pleased with the close relationship we maintain with Bolivia,” said Abbas, after meeting with Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, in New York City. “We want to develop that relationship and I believe we are going to be speaking about a new Palestinian embassy in La Paz very soon,” added Abbas. Morales was one of the several heads of state that denounced the recent Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, in which more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed -mostly civilians- and called it a “genocide.” As part of the measures taken against the Israeli government, Bolivia declared Israel “a terrorist state” and now requests visas from all Israelis who try to enter Bolivia. In 2009, Bolivia broke its diplomatic relations with Israel due to Operation Cast Lead against Gaza Strip, in which more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed.
Bolivian Senator Roger Pinto, who had taken refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in La Paz, left the country in an official Brazilian vehicle escorted by soldiers, Brazilian Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Ricardo Ferraço said on Sunday. Ferraço denied that – as La Paz claims – Pinto is a fugitive from Bolivian justice, although he is accused of various crimes of corruption, for which he was sentenced last June to a year in prison. “He was taken in by Brazil as a (person who was being) politically persecuted,” Ferraço – of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, said. Pinto had taken refuge in the Brazilian Embassy on May 28, 2012 and 10 days later the Rousseff administration granted him the status of political asylum. “He was persecuted in Bolivia for denouncing drug trafficking,” Ferraço said. Upon his arrival in Brasilia, Pinto made no political statement, but he thanked Brazil and its “authorities” for their “efforts” in allowing him to leave Bolivia.
Bolivian ambassadors to Spain, France and Italy will return to their posts next August 2. The ambassadors to Spain, Carmen Almendares; Italy, Antolin Ayaviri; and France Jean Paul Guevara, returned to La Paz after the mentioned countries banned the overflight and operations of Evo Morales aircraft on July 2, when he was returning from Moscow, Russia, where he attended the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries. The presidential aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria, where it remained 15 hours before receiving permission to return flight to Bolivia. During that time, the Spanich ambassador to Austria, Alberto Carnero, insisted more than once in checking the presidential plane to be sure that there was not aboard the U.S. former agent Edward Snowden, wanted by Washington and exiled in Moscow.
The Bolivian government ” temporarily” recalled its ambassadors to Spain, France and Italy to protest those countries’ refusal earlier this month to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane to enter their airspace, a top official said. “Recalling the ambassadors is a decision that was taken within the framework of the summit of the Southern Common Market ( Mercosur), the bloc that decided to call all its ambassadors to those nations, to protest what happened to President Morales,” Bolivian Communications Minister Amanda Davila told reporters. Mercosur nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay, gathered after Morales’ plane was denied access to those countries’ airspace on July 2 to condemn the European nations for violating international laws on presidential immunity. The minister however said the move did not mean Bolivia was breaking off diplomatic relations with the European countries. President Morales met Friday with ambassador Jean Pol Guevara to France, Carmen Almendras to Spain, and Antolin Ayaviri to Italy. Morales s plane was denied access to those countries on rumors that the plane was carrying US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. It made an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria. All the European nations have offered apologies, though none have officially explained their actions, as Bolivia has demanded.
Spain has apologized to Bolivia for its parts in the recent incident, in which Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane was forbidden to fly over some European countries on the rumors that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. Ambassador Angel Vazquez delivered on Monday the official apology to the Bolivian Foreign Ministry in La Paz. Varquez gave a statement acknowledging an “apology for the obstacle and the hardships caused to the president.” France, Spain, Portugal and Italy all refused to allow Morales’ plane, which was flying home on July 2 from Moscow, to cross their airspace. The presidential plane was forced to land in Vienna, Austria where it was searched by authorities on false rumors that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on board. The Bolivian Foreign Ministry accused the Europeans of bowing to US pressure when it banned Morales’ plane. After the incident, Morales revealed that Spain’s ambassador to Austria had tried to conduct a search of the aircraft. The incident also caused strong condemnation from several countries in Latin American, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who called it a “provocation” that concerned” all of Latin America.” Meanwhile, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have all offered asylum to Snowden, who is holed up at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport since June 23, when he landed in Russia from Hong Kong.
Bolivia threatened to close the U.S. embassy as presidents from across the region met to show solidarity with President Evo Morales after the global manhunt for fugitive leaker Edward Snowden diverted his flight. “We don’t need them, we’ve got other allies,” Morales said at an emergency summit of Latin American leaders in the highland Bolivian town of Cochabamba. “We don’t need the pretext of cooperation and diplomatic relations so that they can come and spy on us.” Presidents from Argentina, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela met with Morales to demand Spain, France, Portugal and Italy apologize and explain why they denied the Bolivian leader’s presidential jet permission to fly through their airspace July 2. The incident led the plane to make an emergency landing in Vienna after a fuel gauge stopped working correctly, Morales said. The group called for a new meeting of South American presidents on July 12 in Montevideo, Uruguay to discuss further retaliation against the European countries for the “flagrant violation” of international law, according to a statement read aloud by Bolivia’s Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca at the end of the meeting yesterday. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chile’s Sebastian Pinera, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Peru’s Ollanta Humala skipped the summit. “This constitutes an extraordinary, unfriendly and hostile act,” Choquehuanca said in comments carried live by Telesur. “The injustice suffered by President Evo Morales offends not only Bolivia, but all of our nations.”
Bolivian opposition Sen. Roger Pinto, who has been taking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in La Paz for almost a year, has asked the Brazilian Supreme Court to intercede on his behalf, the court reported. Pinto asked the high court to urge the Brazilian government to seek a solution to his problem, whether it be through an agreement with Bolivia or by providing the means for him to leave the country, according to a court statement. In his request, the senator confirmed that Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota handled the matter “bureaucratically” and with a delay in acting contrary to international treaties signed by Brazil. Among several other demands, Pinto asked the Brazilian government within 30 days to place at his disposal a diplomatic vehicle so that he may leave Bolivia. In addition, he complained that he had been prohibited from granting interviews in the embassy, a decision taken by the Brazilian government in compliance with the rules set forth in the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum signed by Brazil in 1954 and by other members of the Organization of American States. Pinto, 52, says he is being persecuted by the government of Evo Morales and took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in La Paz last May 28. Ten days later Brazil granted him political asylum, but the senator has not been able to leave the embassy because the Bolivian government has denied him safe conduct claiming that he must respond to allegations of corruption in several trials pending against him. Last March, the governments of the two countries created a working group to discuss Pinto’s situation.