World, Americas

Ex-president slams Bolivia over joining Lima bloc

Year-end gift of 'putschists' is to return to neoliberalism, to submit to impositions of IMF, says Evo Morales

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 23.12.2019
Ex-president slams Bolivia over joining Lima bloc

ANKARA

Bolivia's former President Evo Morales denounced Monday interim government's move to join a Latin American bloc, Lima Group.

"The year-end gift of the putschists [self-proclaimed interim President Jeanine] Anez, [opposition leader Luis Fernando] Camacho and [former President Carlos] Mesa is to return to neoliberalism, entering the Lima Group," Morales said on Twitter.

"It is to return to the past to privatize natural resources, basic services, education and health. It is to submit to the impositions of the IMF [International Monetary Fund]," he added.

On Sunday, Bolivia's Foreign Ministry announced the participation of the South American country under the de facto government to Lima Group -- a bloc of 12 Latin American nations working to find a solution to the Venezuela crisis.

"Bolivia will contribute to achieving a peaceful, democratic and constitutional solution to the crisis in Venezuela, which must be guided by the Venezuelan people," the ministry said in a statement.

The group was established in 2017 by countries including Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Santa Lucia, Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala, with the support of the U.S., Organization of American States and EU.

As being a long-time ally to Venezuela and its President Nicolas Maduro, Morales had kept Bolivia out of the Lima Group, due to bloc's support behind Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The group Lima recognizes Guaido as the country's legitimate ruler instead of the elected Maduro government.

However, following his ouster, the Anez government continues to erase footprints of Morales' policies.

Morales also announced on Sunday that nine leaders of Movement for Socialism Party will arrive Buenos Aires, where he is granted asylum on Dec. 29 for a meeting to choose a candidate for the next election.

Turmoil in Bolivia began in October when Morales won a fourth term in office and faced immediate resistance from opposition parties that challenged election results.

Protesters took to the streets claiming the ballot was rigged.

After weeks of upheaval, Morales resigned under pressure from the military and moved to Mexico, where he was offered political asylum.

Conservative Senator Anez then proclaimed herself interim president.

But public demonstrations have yet to subside, with mostly rural and indigenous pro-Morales supporters taking to the streets, including in La Paz, as well as Sacaba and Cochabamba, since he left the country saying his ouster was a coup.

A new presidential election is set for March 2020 but the Anez government has threatened Morales with prison if he returns to the country.

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