The Latest: State Dept. warns against travel to Bolivia
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The latest on Bolivia’s political turmoil (all times local):
The U.S. State Department is warning American citizens against traveling to Bolivia because of the unrest that has gripped the Andean nation since a disputed presidential election last month.
Its notice says non-emergency U.S. government employees were authorized to leave Bolivia as of Tuesday because of the political instability accompanying civil discord that led to the resignation of President Evo Morales. All family members of U.S. employees were ordered to leave.
The department notes there are “recurring demonstrations, strikes, roadblocks, and marches in major cities in Bolivia” that have hampered access to banks, transportation hubs and other services. It also notes “some protests have resulted in violent confrontations.”
An opposition leader in Bolivia’s Senate has declared herself the country’s interim president after the resignation of Evo Morales.
The 52-year-old Jeanine Añez took temporary control of the Senate late Tuesday, putting her next in line for the presidency.
Lawmakers of Morales’ Movement for Socialism party were not present when Añez made the announcement.
Lawmakers in Bolivia say they lack the quorum for an assembly session to discuss the resignation of Evo Morales. It needs to be approved by both houses of Congress.
The Senate’s second vice president, opposition politician Jeanine Añez has positioned herself to become interim president. She has said that she would take temporary control of the Senate if approved. That would make her next in line for the presidency.
But Juan Cala of Morales’ Movement for Socialism says they will not participate for now because the assembly session is illegal. He also says no one is guaranteeing that they will be safe from reprisals by Morales foes who continue to block roads.
Socialist party members have flooded the streets of Venezuela’s capital city to show their support for Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales, calling his ouster a Washington-backed coup d’etat.
Thousands marched through Caracas on Tuesday, many carrying handmade signs scrawled with “Evo!”
Morales stepped down on Sunday at the “suggestion” of his country’s military chief following several tumultuous weeks of protests since his disputed election to a fourth term.
He was the last survivor of a so-called “pink tide” of leftist leaders across Latin America that included former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela’s socialist leaders called on sympathizers to take the streets in a march that played out as Morales landed in Mexico where he is being granted asylum.
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro is a long political ally of Morales, who accused the United States of mounting an economic war to overthrow his socialist government.
Evo Morales has arrived in exile in Mexico, saying the head of the country that gave him asylum for “saved my life.”
Bolivia’s first indigenous president reached the Mexican capital Tuesday after a complicated flight from his homeland two days after he stepped down under military pressure following a series of massive protests alleging fraud in his re-election last month.
The socialist leader said he’s not going to abandon politics.
In Morales’ words, “Let the whole world know that I won’t change ideology because of his coup.”
Evo Morales has arrived in Mexico, the country that granted him asylum following his resignation as Bolivian president.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard met Morales as he arrived at the capital’s airport Tuesday after a flight from Bolivia that was complicated by some countries’ reluctance to let the plane use their airspace.
Bolivia’s first indigenous president resigned Sunday after the head of the military suggested he step aside following massive protests over official results of a presidential election that Morales claimed to have won outright.
The effort to bring Bolivian President Evo Morales to exile in Mexico is proving to be complicated.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard says his country sent a military jet to retrieve the Bolivian leader who offered his resignation following weeks of protests over allegations of election fraud.
He says Bolivian authorities at first granted permission and the plane set off from Peru Monday. Then Bolivian officials revoked permission and it started back to Peru. Finally Bolivia relented and allowed the plane in. But then Peru wouldn’t allow it to return.
Ebrard says that caused a delay in taking off from Bolivia and he said officials worried that could put Morales at danger if it had continued.
Finally Paraguay allowed the jet carrying Morales to land.
But the flight back was complicated because some countries closed their airspace to the flight.
Morales is expected to finally arrive in Mexico later Tuesday.
Bolivia is facing its worst unrest in decades amid a political vacuum as the man who transformed the Andean nation as its first indigenous president has fled the country following weeks of violent protests.
Morales flew out on a Mexican government plane, hours after being granted asylum in Mexico. His supporters and foes fought on the streets of the capital while an opposition leader tearfully laid out a possible path toward new elections in the wake of the president’s resignation.
Morales stepped down Sunday following weeks of widespread protests fed by allegations of electoral fraud in the Oct. 20 presidential election that he claimed to have won. Resignations by every other constitutionally designated successor left unclear who would take his place and how.