This Wednesday, March 17, the Puebla Group responded firmly to the recent interference in Bolivia’s affairs by the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General, Luis Almagro. On Monday Almagro challenged the Government of Luis Arce and called for the release of former dictator Jeanine Áñez, arrested last Saturday and accused of three crimes.
Formed by members of 14 countries, the Puebla Group (Grupo de Puebla) is a union of progressive leaders of Latin America founded by Argentine President Alberto Fernández, former presidents of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former presidents José Mujica (Uruguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), and others, and composed of numerous high-profile politicians and legislators.
📄 DECLARACIÓN DEL GRUPO DE PUEBLA SOBRE EL COMUNICADO DE LA SECRETARÍA GENERAL DE LA OEA ACERCA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA JUDICIAL EN BOLIVIA
— Grupo de Puebla (@ProgresaLatam) March 17, 2021
The Puebla Group said in a letter published on social media networks that “Almagro lacks the moral authority to question the arrests of the people responsible for the coup d’état of 2019.”
“As a Group, we do not recognize the moral authority of Secretary Luis Almagro, following the role played by the Observation Electoral Mission under his watch in the 2019 elections, after which the coup d’état against the government of Evo Morales took place, whose responsibilities are being judged at this moment by the Bolivian justice system,” said the letter.
“For this reason,” it added, “the Puebla Group reiterates that, as long as the OAS does not have an effectively impartial Secretary General, it will continue to be a body generating conflicts that impede regional integration—more needed today than ever.”
Almagro’s newest interference, described by the Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “colonialist meddling” and repudiated by the people after OAS proclaimed a fraud that was never proven, was also rejected by the government of Luis Arce.
— Cancillería de Bolivia (@MRE_Bolivia) March 16, 2021
“Mr. Almagro does not have the moral or ethical authority to consult Bolivia, after the deep damage he did to the Bolivian people with his colonialist meddling during the 2019 electoral process,” said the president.
“His actions cost human lives and he must be held accountable for his biased behavior and his lack of objectivity, which has discredited such an important institution for the countries of our America,” said Arce in response to the OAS press release.
In the opinion of the current president of Bolivia “the OAS accuses and polarizes Bolivia based on lies that seek to revive the path of violence and confrontation,” reported Russian media outlet RT on its website.
Featured image: file photo, artist: Nick Kumbari
(La Iguana TV) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translated by Orinoco Tribune