Latin America

Bolivia’s exiled Morales says US opposes his return

Former Bolivian president Evo Morales, who has been in exile in Mexico since his forced resignation, says the United States opposes his return to Bolivia.

Morales, who had already been president since 2006, won his country’s presidential election in October, but the Bolivian military and opposition claimed that the election had been rigged and they incited street protests.

The Bolivian president, who enjoyed considerable support, nevertheless decided to resign, with an apparent intention not to push the country toward instability. He was then granted asylum and was warmly welcomed in Mexico, where he currently resides.

At least 33 people have been killed since the election.

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There has been on-and-off talk of Morales returning to his home country — and potentially reclaim his presidency — ever since.

But, in an exclusive interview with a Miami-based American Spanish-language television network on Tuesday, Morales said the US was against his return, and that while he had a right to go back, he wouldn’t seek the presidency if he did.

“I just want to tell you that I have information from high levels that the US Department of State doesn’t want me to return, just like the coup-mongering Bolivian right-wing,” Morales said in the interview, with Noticias Telemundo.

He said there was evidence that the US was behind the unrest and military opposition to his rule in Bolivia after the October election.

“About two or three weeks before the election… we showed with documentation how the [US] embassy campaigned in some regions against me,” Morales said. “It started with racism, it went through fascism, it ended up in a coup.”

He has been consistently describing the circumstances that led to his resignation as “a coup.”

Morales said he did not intend to seek the presidency but did wish to return to Bolivia.

“I have every right to return to Bolivia. I repeat again, I am not returning to seek the presidency, that’s definite, I’ve decided not to seek the presidency; but like any Bolivian citizen, I have to be in Bolivia to participate in the elections,” he said in the interview.

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