Bolivia picks first US ambassador in 11 years

Bolivia has filled the position of its US ambassador for the first time in 11 years. Walter Iscar Serrate Cuellar has been appointed in the key position that was vacant since a diplomatic rift between the US and Bolivia in 2008.

This appointment has not been approved by the Senate yet but comes at a critical time.

Serrate previously has served as the ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations from Bolivia. Under Morales, the president of Bolivia for 14 years, the US-Bolivian tension remained tight. This worsened when George W. Bush came into office in the US, and then when Morales resigned from his post and sought asylum in Mexico.

As of now, the right-wing senator Jeanine Anez has declared herself the interim head of Bolivia and is recognized by the USA. She has broken ties with socialist nations Cuba and Venezuela. She has made major alterations to the Bolivian foreign policy by recognizing Juan Guaido, the opposition leader in Venezuela, as their president.

The new Foreign Minister, Karen Longaric, has since announced the departure of Venezuelan diplomats for violating diplomatic norms.

In fact, all ambassadors to Bolivia have been fired except for the ones from Peru and the Vatican.

The new appointment to the US comes after 20 members of the former Morales government are taking refuge in Mexico. Five of these members are wanted for arrest in a range of charges including terrorism and sedition.

Federal prosecutors continue to investigate the allegations against Morales for encouraging his supporters to create roadblocks that led to food and fuel shortages in La Paz. Recordings of Morales speaking to his subordinates have been unearthed where he can be heard saying “Don’t let food into the cities, we’re going to block, really encircle (the cities)”. Bolivia claims that this is a violation of his asylum status in Mexico.

With new elections due between the interim and opposition governments, the protests have finally quelled and no deaths have been reported. La Paz is slowly but surely returning to normalcy and other cities are to follow soon.

Blockades to major transport have been removed and an eight-point agreement has been pledged by the government. A commission has been set up to free the protestors who have not committed crimes.

 


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Joseph Johnson

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