By Caribbean News Global contributor
ST JOHNS, Antigua – Antigua and Barbuda foreign affairs minister, E.P. Chet Greene, has protested the treatment meted out to the Embassy of Mexico and its diplomatic staff, including the ambassador, by the intelligence and security forces of Bolivia on December 21 and 23.
Minister Greene was responding to international news agency reports, and a report by the Mexican government, that about 150 Bolivian police and intelligence agents surrounded the Mexican ambassador’s residence since December 20, and that police and agents have intimidated and spied on Mexican diplomatic personnel.
“These actions are a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which governs inviolability of Diplomatic Missions and gives protections to accredited diplomats, particularly ambassadors”, said minister Greene.
“The government of Antigua and Barbuda is deeply concerned about this hostile and uncalled-for action by the regime in Bolivia toward the friendly government of Mexico. We strongly protest this violation of international conventions by Bolivia and pledge to support the Mexican government in its complaints at the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations”.
Minister Greene noted that the actions by the Bolivian authorities follow closely upon a Resolution on December 18 at the OAS, sponsored by 13 Caribbean countries and strongly supported by Mexico, that pointed to credible reports of human rights violations of the indigenous people of Bolivia.
“The government of Antigua and Barbuda expects the Bolivian authorities to respect international law and the Vienna Convention and to end this siege of the Mexican embassy and return to diplomatic norms,” said minister Greene.
Last month, Mexico offered former Bolivian leader Evo Morales asylum following a “coup” and has given refuge to about 30 of his supporters at its Embassy facilities in La Paz.
Bolivia’s security apparatus is controlled by an interim government, headed by right-wing Senator Jeanine Anez has issued an arrest warrant for Morales, claiming that his calls for protest amounted to “sedition and terrorism,” promising to jail the exiled socialist “for the rest of his life.”
Mexico called the Bolivian interim government’s actions “unacceptable” in an open letter to the OAS. Meanwhile, president Alberto Fernández of Argentine has granted Morales political asylum, vowed to “continue fighting for the poor” and help organise his party upcoming election campaign.