Bolivia: Violence prevents Evo Morales visit to Sucre
Caracas, Venezuela, 23 May 2008. Bolivian President Evo Morales called off a planned visit to Sucre today due to violent demonstrations. Fourteen people are already reported injured. President Morales was supposed to travel to Sucre to inaugurate some government infrastructure during the 199 years celebration of independence call. Violent clashes between rightists and pro government group ended up in uncontrolled violence. After cancelling Morales visit, the government blame the local Sucre Interinstitutional Committee for the violence. It also called for calm and the return to normality.
Political tension in Bolivia is mounting after the celebration of a private separatist referendum in Santa Cruz early this month and the approval of a recall referenda for the President, Vice President and all local governors. The separatist object to the autonomy limit provisions in the socialist drafted constitution which is also due to be consulted in two referenda. The recent violence confrontation in Sucre recalled clashes in 2007. During such violent confrontations on 24 November, three people died and 300 were injured.
In a related event, Bolivian press today announced that Bolivia and Venezuela had signed another defence agreement on Thursday at Caracas. President Morales made a short call on Caracas on his way to Brasilia to attend the UNASUR summit. Opposition to Evo Morales administration have expressed their objections to that agreement. They state that the Bolivian Armed Forces would now be dependent on Venezuela.
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