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  HOME | Bolivia

Bolivian Foreign Minister: No Cause for “Pessimism” in Relations with Brazil

LA PAZ – Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca on Monday said there is no need for “pessimism” regarding La Paz’s relations with Brazil after the latter’s change in government, a situation that spurred the calling home of Ambassador Jose Kinn for consultations.

“I don’t think we need to be pessimistic. As I said, it’s our obligation to work to deepen relations with everyone,” said the minister in an interview with EFE during which he was asked about risks to the bilateral relationship.

Bolivian President Evo Morales last week called Ambassador Kinn home in the face of the decision by Brazil’s Congress to depose President Dilma Rousseff, something that the Bolivian leader said was a “parliamentary coup.”

Morales expressed that position last Wednesday on Twitter, where he condemned “the parliamentary coup against Brazilian democracy” and gave his support to Rousseff, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva “and their people in this difficult hour.”

The region, the minister said, should be concerned by what is happening in Brazil because “we don’t wish the Brazilians ill,” and he urged continued work to achieve “integration and unity.”

He added that it is not for him to “judge” what is occurring in Brazil, but he said that Rousseff, who received the votes of 54 million people in the recent election, had been removed from office by “less than 100 people,” that is to say by lawmakers.

Choquehuanca also said that Morales called Kinn back to La Paz to receive direct information about Brazil, emphasizing that Bolivia “is not withdrawing” its envoy, as Venezuela did, although he said he did not know when he would return to his duties in Brasilia.

In addition, he said that it is “normal in diplomatic practice” to call an envoy home “during difficult situations,” although he emphasized that “it should not concern the authorities much.”

The minister was referring to remarks reproduced in Bolivian media made by Brazil’s new foreign minister, Jose Serra, who lamented the fact that Bolivia and Ecuador had called their ambassadors home and criticized Venezuela’s decision.

Serra said that Bolivia and Ecuador had “shot themselves in the foot” and that both countries “should learn how to do democracy from what has occurred in Brazil,” as cited by La Paz media outlets.

Choquehuanca said that “we have to have the flexibility to overcome these issues,” adding that “people learn not only from positive experiences, but also from negative ones.”

 

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