Bolivian Foreign Minister Karen Longaric defended on Thursday that his Government, despite being provisional, has no “limits” to decide on foreign policy and take such momentous measures as the breakdown of relations with Venezuela by Nicolás Maduro.
Longaric, who took office on November 13 after Bolivia’s departure from Evo Morales, spoke with Efe in the halls of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), based in Washington.
QUESTION: In the last two months, the Government of Jeanine Áñez has broken relations with Maduro, has announced the departure of Bolivia from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Alba) and has joined the Lima Group. Why have you made these decisions knowing that you are an interim executive?
ANSWER: Well, the political Constitution of the State does not set any limits to a transitional Government. This is a constitutional Government to the full extent of the word and has legislative and legal powers to perform all management acts it deems appropriate.
In that sense, it was absolutely necessary to make these decisions, since with respect to Venezuela the Government determined that the diplomatic officials of the Venezuelan embassy incurred a series of acts that led to the conclusion that they intervened in the internal politics of Bolivia.
The intervention, the interference in the internal politics of a country, immediately merits that kind of sanctions that we have adopted.
We have no limitations to do that management. And on the other hand, I do not believe that the international community has to limit the acts of a constitutional government.
DESIRE TO REBUILD A “CORDIAL” RELATIONSHIP WITH SPAIN
Q: The relationship between Spain and Bolivia has been strained after the decision of the Government of Áñez to declare unpleasant people to two Spanish diplomats for going to the residence of the Mexican ambassador, where former senior officials of the Morales Government are. After these incidents, what state are the relationships currently in?
A: In general, I must tell you that we have a lot of expectation that the relationship with Spain will return to the cordiality and dynamics it has always had. For us that relationship is very important, for the Government, for the Bolivian people, because it involves many issues. Historically, we consider ourselves a town very close to Spain. Historically, relationships have been cooperative and cordial and we want it to remain so.
Q: Recently, Áñez appointed a new Business Manager for his embassy in Spain. What is the meaning of this decision?
A: It is a message to the Government of Spain. In the sense of not interrupting relationships, of continuing with the optimal, cordial, friendly and cooperative relationship.
Q: The European Union (EU) condemned the decision of its Government. Did you talk with the EU? What contacts did you have?
A: Of course, I immediately had a meeting with the EU member countries and with the EU representative in Bolivia, Mr. León de la Torre Krais. And, on that occasion, I explained the truth of the events.
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATION FOR MAY ELECTIONS
Q: Bolivia will hold new elections on May 3. Have you already spoken with the Organization of American States (OAS) to ensure the presence of observers?
A: I want you to know that this electoral process has already begun with the election of a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the times in that process have already been set.
Indeed, May 3 will be the general elections, under the scrutiny of the observation of many international organizations, including the OAS, the United Nations and the European Union.
But, in addition, we have invited friendly countries, the international community that wants to accredit observers to do so.
It is the intention of the Government of Mrs. Áñez to carry out an electoral process with absolute transparency and equal participation of all political parties.