Mr.Morales, the Ambassador and a paramilitary

President Evo Morales has denounced a few days ago, in an interview with Communist daily Il Manifesto, that paramilitary forces are operating in Bolivia against his government. “We have a picture”, he said, “ of the U.S. Ambassador with a Colombian paramilitary, recently taken here in Bolivia. Luckily, the paramilitary has been arrested and as of this moment is in prison. We have information of armed and organized  military forces in our country by elements from the right and criminals. When the right cannot mobilize as it did in the past, it goes to the other extreme: the paramilitarism”.

The interviewer mentions recent “attacks” in Santa Cruz and the seizure (and back-taking) of Viru Viru Airport in Santa Cruz and asks: “¿Where do these actions come from?” The president answers: “There is a domestic right and a foreign right. The domestic right comes from oligarch groups, the foreign (right) from the United States Embassy”.

The Bolivians would like to learn details about such a paramilitar.  If he is under arrest (¿since when?) he is supposed to have given  information to the police agents.  Specially, if there are photographs of him (there are, surely) they should be shown to the public. But overall, if there are armed and organized paramilitary forces in Bolivia, the public must at least be informed. ¿In what part of the country they are operating? ¿Are the Armed Forces involved -or about to be involved- in fighting them? Also, we´d like to know details of the alleged role of the U.S. Embassy. This is a very serious matter to go on the foreign press first. The episode takes place only a few days after a verbal impasse between the Ambassador and the Government (President Morales and his Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca) over changing New York as the United Nations venue was officialy settled and terminated. ¿Is another impasse coming up?

Then the journalist mentions to the president that before coming to Bolivia Ambassador Goldberg was “Chief U.S. Mission to Kosovo, and before that he was the right hand of Bosnia Ambassador Richard Halbrooke, form where Yugoslavia imploded”. Then he asks: ”¿How does he behave now?” President Morales answers: “In Bosnia Glodberg scored some points in (for) his diplomatic career, but in Bolvia he will not get it.”

The president was also asked about his relations with the United States. His answer: “We have relations with the whole world, but we do not accept provocations. Besides, one thing is the ambassador, another thing is the country (the ambassador represents). It is true that Mr. Goldberg has, without a doubt, a long experience in convulsing (disrupting) democratic governments.”

The president also talked about natural gas and criticism he is receiving from former Energy Minister Andrés Solíz Rada, considered a key man in the nationalization of oil on May 1, 2006. (The former minister, who left the government in October that year, continuously says in hiscolumn in Bolivian dailies that the government has lost its path in the nationalization). “¿What do you answer to Soliz?” “That Soliz is a resented am. I was wrong giving him a ministry.”See the full versión in Italian:

http://www.ilmanifesto.it/ricerca/ric_view.php3?page=/Quotidiano-archivio/30-Ottobre-2007/art11.html&word=Evo;Paramilitari 

Or the translation to Spanish published by Cuban daily Rebelion: http://www.rebelion.org/ 

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