Bolivia expels Venezuelan diplomats

Bolivia expels Venezuelan diplomats

Agency News

Mexico City, Nov 16: Bolivia's newly-appointed Foreign Minister Karen Longaric late on Friday declared Venezuelan diplomats working in the country as personae-non-grata. "They will be given a deadline for leaving the country for interfering in the internal affairs of the [Bolivian] state," Longaric said as quoted by the Cambio newspaper. Meanwhile, the European Union endorsed Bolivia's caretaker government and urged them to hold new elections.

"The European Union supports an institutional solution that allows for a caretaking interim leadership to prepare for new elections, and to avoid a power vacuum," Federica Mogherini said in a declaration.

She blamed weeks of unrest in the Latin American country on alleged irregularities during the October 20 general election, which saw President Evo Morales win a fourth term. Mogherini urged all parties to support new elections, and warned that "political retribution" would only deepen divisions. Dozens of lawmakers and officials have recently sought asylum in the Mexican Embassy in La Paz.

The Bolivian military asked Morales to stand down last week, which he did on Sunday. The Socialist Party leader then fled to Mexico on Tuesday. In his absence, the Senate’s opposition deputy speaker, Jeanine Anez, took over as interim president. (UNI)