Conflict in Bolivia
Morales accuses successor of human rights violations
Evo Morales came to power almost at the same time as Angela Merkel. Because he clung to it in the view of many too much, he now sits 5000 miles from home in exile. His word is still strong in Bolivia.
Mexico City. Supporters of Evo Morales are blocking Bolivia's cities – and the ex-president is setting conditions for an end to the protests from exile.
First, his safety and that of his colleagues must be guaranteed, Morales said in an interview with the German Press Agency in Mexico City. Second, the deaths of the past days would have to be worked up.
Over the weekend, important Bolivian cities such as La Paz, El Alto, Sucre and Cochabamba had to be provided with food by air because coca growers supporting Morales blocked highways. Supporters of the left-wing former head of state gave an ultimatum to the conservative interim president Jeanine Anez on Sunday night (local time) to resign within 48 hours. Otherwise, they would build more roadblocks. "If she resigned, she would do democracy a great favor," Morales said of Anez.
Security forces had forcibly barred the coca farmers on Friday to the seat of government La Paz. Nine demonstrators were killed and dozens injured. According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, at least 23 people have died since the riots began in Bolivia. 715 were injured.
Morales spoke of a massacre and human rights abuses by the de facto government. The 60-year-old resigned under pressure from the military and police on 10 November. Three weeks earlier, there had been a presidential election, after which Morales declared the winner in the first round. The opposition accused him of electoral fraud, and international observers found manipulation in the election. Morales denies that.
He speaks of a coup in which the US "empire" has its fingers in the game. His only crime, the socialist stresses, is to have come to power as an indigenous and anti-imperialist. The racist oligarchs did not accept that. Because his resignation has not yet been confirmed by Parliament, Morales does not recognize the Transitional Government. This must carry out a new election within 90 days.
Anez received on Saturday the Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Jean Arnault. The French diplomat is mandated to engage in dialogue with all concerned to pacify the Andean country. Arnault has not made contact with him so far, Morales said.
The former Kokabauer thanked the Mexican government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had saved his life. The fact that he flew to Mexico last Tuesday and not to Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, where there are ideologically closer governments, said Morales simply that Mexico was the first country to offer protection alongside Paraguay.
He does not regret his resignation, he emphasized. "I regret having equipped the army so well." He was ready to return to Bolivia, if he could somehow contribute to the pacification, said Morales. He renounced for a candidacy for a new election.
Morales came to power in January 2006, exactly two months after Angela Merkel. The fact that the Chancellor stays in office for so long does not bother anyone, said a recent tweet to the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum. Just because Bolivia is a developing country, Morales is now called dictator. "In our experience, continuity is helpful," he said. "And I had a nice plan for the bicentenary."
As the first indigenous president, Morales had brought the poorhouse of South America a long period of political stability and economic development. To fulfill his dream and to remain in office until the 200th anniversary of independence in 2025, he spanned the arc, however, according to many. In October, he stood for re-election for the third time, although the constitution provides for re-election at most. Morales overcame this hurdle with the help of his judicial system, which described the limitation of terms as a violation of his human rights.
His great desire was to open a restaurant after his political career in his home region Cochabamba and there to serve the freshwater fish Schwarzer Pacu, said Morales. He is currently in fashion. He wanted to wait there – "be with the people". Jokingly, he added that a photo with the ex-president would cost more than the fish. The restaurant will have to wait – Morales is now in exile around 5000 kilometers from home.