Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that the resignation request submitted by the President of Bolivia, Carlos Mesa, yesterday, to the Bolivian Congress is a cause of concern not only to Brazil but to all the countries in the region.
This information came from the presidential adviser on international affairs, Marco Aurélio Garcia. Mesa had been President of Bolivia for 17 months.
Garcia said that President Lula made a telephone call to the Bolivian President late in the afternoon.
According to a note released yesterday by the Presidential Secretariat of Press and Publicity, during the conversation President Lula “lent support and solidarity to his Bolivian colleague and expressed his certainty that a constitutional solution will be found to resolve the current crisis in that fellow country.”
According to Garcia, the Brazilian government was apprised of the situation in the neighboring country Monday night, and the matter was brought immediately to the attention of President Lula.
Garcia informed that in reaction to Mesa’s renunciation request, various demonstrations were staged in Bolivia, which is a matter of concern for all the countries in the region.
“This provoked great uneasiness over the destabilization of the Bolivian government,” the Presidential special adviser pointed out.
He regarded as troubling the risks of destabilization of the Bolivian government, with which the rest of the countries in the region maintain cordial relations, and he said that he has already discussed the crisis with government officials in Argentina and Uruguay.
“I conversed with the Argentinean vice-chancellor and the Uruguay chancellor, and we decided to undertake a series of steps to help Bolivia return to normalcy. To do this [and at the same time] respect the will of the Bolivian people,” Garcia informed.
He emphasized that Brazil’s solidarity in relation to the Bolivian crisis is a position that Lula’s Administration has adopted in dealing with previous problems in the region.
“We always try to base our conduct on respect for institutions and the fact that these problems should always be resolved strictly within constitutional and legal frameworks, not simply by crowd pressure, even though the masses in the street should be respected,” he added.
Garcia recalled that Brazil currently maintains cooperation agreements with Boliva in the area of infrastructure and in the gas, energy, and mineral sectors.
“These agreements are important so that Bolivia can reach a new plateau in its economic and social development,” he concluded.
Translation: David Silberstein