Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bolivia’s leader says general accused of leading failed coup wanted to ‘take over’ as president


LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivian President Luis Arce said Friday that a former general is planning to “take over” the government and become president. In the failed coupHe denied that the Andean country was suffering from an economic crisis.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the embattled leader again denied that Wednesday’s attack on the government palace was a “self-coup” aimed at scoring political points.

“I didn’t run away. I stayed to defend democracy,” Arce said.

Ars washed his hands of Allegations of relatives of the 21 people arrested by the government They are innocent of the coup attempt and were deceived. Former gen. Juan Jose Zuniga.

“It’s the problem of those involved, not the government,” Arce told The Associated Press.

Arce also said his government had been “politically attacked” by his former ally-turned-rival, former President Evo Morales, saying: Internal conflict disrupted legislative activities and hampered his government. Facing economic problems.

Still, he said, Bolivia’s economy is growing and his administration is working to “diversify” its means of production and invest in things like lithium and manufacturing. Bolivia has the world’s largest reserves of lithium — a mineral known as “white gold” and seen as essential to the green transition — that have largely been untapped, partly due to government policy.

Ars The government said it had “taken measures” to address intermittent shortages of gasoline and dollars and other obstacles crippling the South American country’s economy.

“Bolivia has an economy that is growing. An economy in crisis is not growing,” he said.

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He said it was “perfectly normal” for Bolivians to rush to stock up on food in supermarkets and run to ATMs at the sight of an emerging coup in the capital, rather than heed his call to take to the streets to support the government.

He said Bolivians were psychologically traumatized by the political unrest in 2019 that prompted Morales to resign as president and flee and also left 37 people dead.

“When there is a political situation, or this rupture, or a coup, of course people will be afraid of not having food… so they will go and get money to buy stocks,” Arce said.

He added that the government was investigating whether the attack was organized by the country’s political opposition. On the same day, Arce’s government minister, Eduardo del Castillo, said the government claimed there were “snipers who did not arrive in time at Plaza Murillo” where the coup took place.


Associated Press correspondent Paula Flores in La Paz contributed to this report.

Rainerio Manuel
Rainerio Manuel

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