LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed on Friday his support for his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, who has been excluded from the next Summit of the Americas, and called for unity throughout all of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Morales spoke of the “solidarity of the Bolivian people with our brother Maduro, and with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela,” at a meeting with ambassadors in La Paz, many of them from Latin American countries.
“It’s not possible he’s been expelled from the Summit of the Americas,” the Bolivian president said.
The Peruvian government withdrew the invitation sent to the Venezuelan president for the 8th Summit of the Americas, to be held in Lima next April 13-14.
That was done in line with the Declaration of Quebec City at the 3rd Summit of the Americas in 2001, which states that “any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state’s government in the Summit of the Americas.”
In that regard, the Bolivian president said the first to be expelled was Cuba “for being communists,” and now there are “all kinds of accusations, of corruption, of dictatorship,” against “anti-imperialist” governments like Venezuela.
He added that “after none of us could be accused of being communists, we were accused of drug trafficking,” then of being “terrorists,” and now of having “authoritarian dictators.”
“Let us defend ourselves,” he said, against “any military aggression or intervention.”
In that context, Morales had denounced last Tuesday the presence in Colombia of the head of the US Southern Command, Adm. Kurt Tidd, and the recent Latin American tour by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
He told the ambassadors the tour was meant “to promote a coup d’etat against the Venezuelan government,” while the US admiral’s presence seemed like the threat of a military intervention in Venezuela through Colombia.
The object of such aggression, Morales said, “is not just Venezuela, but all Latin America.”