Argentina to allow refugee Morales of Bolivia to make political statements

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: Former Bolivian President Evo Morales attends an interview with Reuters in Mexico City
FILE PHOTO: Former Bolivian President Evo Morales looks on during an interview with Reuters, in Mexico City, Mexico November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

December 15, 2019

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina will allow former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who arrived on Thursday and has been granted refugee status, to make political statements during his stay in the country, a top official said in an interview published Sunday.

The statement by Argentina cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero contradicted Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Sola, who had said on Thursday he had asked Morales to refrain from making political statements.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, inaugurated on Tuesday, had said before taking office that leftist Morales would be welcome in the country. Morales left Bolivia after a contested October election that caused a political crisis.

“The refugee has the same rights as an Argentine citizen in terms of freedom of expression. We are not going to restrict his freedoms,” Cafiero told daily newspaper La Nacion.

Morales later wrote on Twitter that he was helping to plan his party’s campaign strategy for the upcoming election.

Bolivia’s acting president said on Saturday that an arrest warrant for Morales on charges of sedition would be issued over the days ahead.

Morales left Bolivia in mid-November, within days of resigning after the Organization of American States said there were irregularities in the way votes were counted in the October election. Morales claims to have won re-election in the vote.

He resigned under pressure from the armed forces in what he has called a coup d’etat. Morales Arrive in Argentina from Mexico, where he had spent about a month after leaving Bolivia.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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