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Venezuela’s Maduro condemns ‘coup’ against Bolivian ally Morales

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. — Reuters pic
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. — Reuters pic

CARACAS, Nov 11 — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro yesterday condemned a “coup” against his leftist ally Evo Morales after the Bolivian president announced his resignation following a political and military rebellion against his 14-year rule.

Morales’ supporters in Bolivia deserted him after weeks of protests over a disputed October 20 election that has roiled the Andean nation. Morales, the last survivor of Latin America’s leftist “pink tide” of two decades ago, said earlier yesterday he would resign to help restore stability.

Maduro, whose socialist predecessor Hugo Chavez served as a sometime mentor to Morales, called on allies around the world to “mobilise” to protect Bolivia’s first indigenous leader.

“We categorically condemn the coup realised against our brother president,” Maduro said on Twitter.

While Maduro’s position has been bolstered by the return of left-leaning leaders in Mexico and Argentina, Morales’ ouster could unnerve Maduro, who has clung to power this year despite a an opposition campaign to convince the armed forces to rise up against his six-year government.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido in January invoked Venezuela’s constitution to declare a rival presidency after the opposition denounced Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a sham vote. In April, Guaido attempted to spark a military rebellion, but it fizzled out, and since then his momentum has waned. — Reuters

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