Bolivia's interim president cancels trip due to 'credible threat' as crisis roars on

By Daniel Ramos LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez was forced to suspend a trip out of the capital La Paz planned for Monday, a government spokesman said, after a threat on her life by a 'criminal group.' Anez, 52, had been due to travel to her native Beni province in northeastern Bolivia but the trip was cancelled because of a credible threat, Interior Minister Arturo Murillo said at a news conference in La Paz. Murillo said Venezuelans, Cubans, and Colombians were 'involved,' without giving further details

Reuters November 19, 2019 04:11:01 IST
Bolivia's interim president cancels trip due to 'credible threat' as crisis roars on

Bolivias interim president cancels trip due to credible threat as crisis roars on

By Daniel Ramos

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez was forced to suspend a trip out of the capital La Paz planned for Monday, a government spokesman said, after a threat on her life by a "criminal group."

Anez, 52, had been due to travel to her native Beni province in northeastern Bolivia but the trip was cancelled because of a credible threat, Interior Minister Arturo Murillo said at a news conference in La Paz.

Murillo said Venezuelans, Cubans, and Colombians were "involved," without giving further details. Anez's government on Friday asked Venezuelan officials to leave the country and accused Cuba of stoking unrest.

Both Cuba and Venezuela were close allies of socialist former president Evo Morales, who stepped down last week amid violent protests and accusations of vote-rigging in an Oct. 20 presidential election. An Organization of American States audit found irregularities in the vote.

Morales fled to Mexico but his supporters have since taken to the streets, sometimes armed with homemade weapons, barricading roads and skirmishing with security forces.

A total of 23 people have died in the unrest so far, according to a government human rights institution.

The roadblocks have caused a food and fuel crisis, resulting in long lines outside grocery stores in La Paz. A general strike called for Monday appeared by midday to have fallen flat.

Anez, a conservative former senator, took over last Tuesday. She has promised to build bridges with Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS) party and hold fresh elections, albeit without the participation of Morales, who ran the country since 2006.

But attempts at dialogue with Morales' supporters have faltered, with both sides trading accusations of fomenting violence.

Jerjes Justiniano, the newly-appointed presidency minister, said he would be advising Anez to "immediately" call an election by presidential decree, in the absence of an agreement.

Murillo said the government would ensure an election was held within the mandated 90-day limit.

"We are leaving in days," he said. "We will have an election. The greatest honour for a Bolivian is to become president of the country but that person must win with votes, not with bullets or boots."

Bolivia's Roman Catholic Episcopal Conference said that, together with European Union and United Nations representatives, it would seek to bring the national government and opposition parties together for fresh talks on a roadmap for elections on Monday afternoon.

"Holding new, transparent and credible elections, is the best way to overcome differences in a democratic and peaceful way," the Church said.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos in La Paz; Writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.