Argentina's Ambassador to Bolivia Adrián Basteiro came under criticism once again Thursday for participating in a demonstration of Bolivia's ruling party Movement Towards Socialism headed by former President Evo Morales.
Former Bolivian diplomat Julio Alvarado claimed Basteiro's attitude was against the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
“This ambassador is unaware of this treaty and it is not the first time that he has done it, he comes out in statements and points out that there was a coup in Bolivia. Now he interferes in the political party march and takes an ideological political inclination on Bolivian issues, Alvarado explained.
That is in flagrant violation [of the Convention], he went on.
Basteiro arrived around 10 am Thursday at the march a few kilometres from the town of Patacamaya, where he was welcomed by Morales and his entourage.
The Argentine ambassador said it was necessary to support this kind of mobilization in defence of democracy and also vowed to participate in the main ceremony to be held at the seat of government.
Compañeros, it is truly a commitment of honour to be here with you, marching and supporting this march for the homeland in defence of democracy, for the defence of the values that led Evo Morales to the government in 2005, Basteiro said in his speech.
Basteiro also explained he had met in Buenos Aires with Morales to organize the “return to democracy” and help President Luis Arce win the elections.
“Evo is not alone, Lucho is not alone, Bolivia is not alone, the other Latin American countries are here to accompany and to continue fighting for the Great Homeland, as a year ago when Evo was in Buenos Aires, we saw each other often and organized the possibility of recovering democracy in Bolivia, that democracy was recovered to a large extent by all of you, Basteiro told Evo's supporters.
Alvarado said Bolivia's Foreign Ministry should take action against Basteiro, although he feared that would not be the case because of the diplomat's allegiance to the current Bolivian government.
The least they should do is make a statement rejecting the interference, or in any case call the Ambassador to the Foreign Ministry to express their annoyance at this interference by the Argentine diplomat, Alvarado said. He added opposition legislators could at least submit a motion before the House of Deputies to declare Basteiro persona non grata, as happened in the Peruvian parliament with the statements and actions made by Evo Morales in that country.