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Bolivia’s new leaders break ties with Venezuela

Published:Friday | November 15, 2019 | 3:35 PM
Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez looks up during a press conference in La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, November 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia’s interim leadership says it has broken diplomatic ties with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and ordered Cuban medical teams to leave Bolivia.

The announcement on Friday represents a turnaround in Bolivia’s foreign policy following the resignation of Evo Morales, a socialist who quit after a disputed election that sparked massive protests.

Karen Longaric, the foreign minister of Bolivia’s interim government, also says the country is leaving the Union of South American Nations, known by its Spanish acronym UNASUR.

The group was set up in 2008 by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and other leftists to support regional integration efforts and counter U.S. influence in South America.

Longaric also says Bolivia is no longer a part of ALBA, a regional group that espouses socialist ideology.

Bolivia’s interim leader says Evo Morales will have to “answer to justice for electoral fraud” if he returns home.

Jeanine Áñez made the comment during a news conference Friday, a day after Morales insisted from asylum in Mexico that he remains the country’s legitimate president because his resignation was forced by the military and wasn’t formally accepted by Congress.

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