Spain plans evacuation as Bolivian unrest worsens

9th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 June 2005, CORDOBA — Spain said it was making preparations in case it became necessary to evacuate its citizens from crisis-wracked Bolivia.

9 June 2005

CORDOBA — Spain said it was making preparations in case it became necessary to evacuate its citizens from crisis-wracked Bolivia.

Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the Spanish embassy in Bolivia "has speeded up preparatory work" to ensure the safety of Spaniards living in Bolivia was involved in violent unrest.

Moratinos said his ministry was "coordinating actions" with other cabinet departments "in case we have to accelerate or activate an evacuation plan for the (Spanish) community," so that, if "the situation worsens, we will have the necessary capability to react."

The foreign minister said in a press conference that he spoke by telephone with oil giant Repsol's chief, Antonio Brufau, to "offer assistance and cooperation," and the company's representatives are in touch with the embassy in La Paz.

Moratinos said he did not believe that the crisis in Bolivia was a result of "Venezuelan meddling," noting that it was "a very complex domestic crisis" in which the Andean nation's social and political actors "should find their own path to national dialogue".

The Bush administration has suggested that leftist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has played a role in the Bolivian unrest.

Moratinos spoke about the Bolivian crisis in the Spanish city of Cordoba, where he was taking part in an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference that ends on Thursday.

The Spanish foreign minister said he was following the situation in Bolivia with "concern" and was "committed to helping so that the situation will stabilize".

Talks have been held with the main actors in Bolivia, as well as with the Andean Community, the Organization of American States and US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and "all those who could contribute something to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis," the foreign minister said.

Moratinos said, however, that for the time being "we have to wait" until the meeting of the Bolivian Congress planned for Thursday in Sucre takes place.

Bolivia's parliament is to decide whether or not to accept president Carlos Mesa's resignation, and, if it does let him leave office, find a successor.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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