Resignation of Bolivia's president spells trouble for Venezuela, Nicaragua

12 Novembre, 2019, 07:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Police guard Congress in La Paz Bolivia Monday Nov. 11 2019. Bolivian President Evo Morales' Nov. 10 resignation under mounting pressure from the

Venezuelan opposition leaders looking to oust their country's socialist government can perhaps take some hope from the resignation of its leftist ally in Bolivia, President Evo Morales, on Sunday after weeks of street protests.

Morales, 60, the country's first indigenous president, resigned under pressure from military leaders and weeks of demonstrations following an October 20 election, in which he claimed to have won a fourth term.

Bolivia's Armed Forces said it would move to protect essential public services amid rising violence and vandalism that has seen electricity and water services cut in some areas.

Mexico, now led by leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has repeatedly said Morales was the victim of a "coup".

Armed Forces chief Williams Kaliman told reporters he was asking Morales "to resign his presidential mandate to allow for pacification and the maintaining of stability".

Senior US officials said Monday that constitutional order would be maintained in the South American nation once an interim president makes a call for a new presidential election within 90 days.

"I am afraid of what will happen, everything is a mess in the city".

Morales repeated on Monday accusations he was the victim of a conspiracy by enemies including election rival Carlos Mesa and protest leader Luis Fernando Camacho.

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Mexico's plane refueled in Lima before picking up Morales in Bolivia, and Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez praised Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra's cooperation.

Following his abrupt resignation over the weekend, Morales said he would flee Bolivia to take up the Mexican government's offer for political asylum extended earlier on Monday, but promised to return with renewed energy.

Member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) denounced the events in Bolivia, describing it as a state coup in a statement, released by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza via Twitter. It also includes right wing leaders in Latin America such as Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Ivan Duque of Colombia.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump hailed the resignation of Morales as "a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere".

As tensions grew, local media reported that Morales supporters were marching down from the nearby city of El Alto, a Morales stronghold, to try to break the street blockades thrown up by his opponents and reach the main square of La Paz.

Tweeting from the central coca-growing region of Chapare, where he fled on Sunday, Morales called on the opposition to "pacify the country" as some of his supporters were violently set upon in La Paz, while a top opposition figure said he feared an imminent mob attack on his home.

"People are trying to cause chaos", fretted Edgar Torrez, a 40-year-old business administrator in La Paz, saying politicians and criminals were all taking advantage of the situation.

Michael Shifter, head of the Washington-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue, warned that, "Bolivia is bitterly polarized and needs new leadership that is able to bring the country together". However, Senate President Adriana Salvatierra also stepped down on Sunday. Plus, France has suffered its strongest quake for more than a century.

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