|Bolivia’s protests are a popular and autonomous decision by its own people, and not by external entities, according to Evo Morales.|
Caracas, Mar 15 (Venezuelanalsysis.com).- Bolivian government officials and the country’s main opposition leader Evo Morales, denied Tuesday allegations of Venezuelan government intervention in the current Bolivian social unrest, according to a wire by the Prensa Latina news agency.
Bolivia has been shocked by weeks of strikes, and protests by indigenous and labor groups, demanding an increase in taxes for foreign oil corporations.
The U.S. State Department has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of destabilizing the region with alleged support for the opposition in Bolivia and of rebels in Colombia, a charge that Chavez denies. On the other hand, Chavez has recently suggested that the Bush administration is supporting an assassination plot against him and warned that if one should happen, Venezuelan oil supplies to the U.S. would be cut off.
Evo Morales is quoted as saying that social protests in Bolivia are a popular and autonomous decision by its own people, and not by external entities.
According to an European news agency, Bolivian Economic Development Minister Walter Kreidler said recently that Venezuelan President Chavez “could be” favoring violence in Bolivia.
However, Bolivian government Vice-minister for Parliamentary Coordination, Carlos Agreda, denied any involvement by Venezuela in the crisis by saying that “we have not confirmed presence of some external forces in the conflicts.”
Bolivian opposition leader Evo Morales said Kreidler’s statement is untrue. Morales said that President Chavez publicly supported former Bolivian President Carlos Mesa after he resigned on March 6, 2004.
When asked about recent reports about a new U.S. strategy to confront Venezuela’s Chavez due to his alleged promotion of Bolivian unrest, Morales accused the US of wanting to oust Chavez. “This is part of the campaign by Washington to discredit the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, which includes plans to assassinate Chavez.”
Venezuelan Information and Communications Minister Andres Izarra, also denied Venezuelan financing of Bolivian unrest. “Evo Morales is an ally and a friend, but that does not mean that we have given him any type of financing… We categorically deny accusations of Venezuela providing economic support to Evo Morales or to any other Bolivian group,” Izarra said today.
Izarra said that allegations of Venezuelan intervention in Bolivian affairs may be instigated by the the United States, which he accused of trying to stop Bolivia’s social movements.