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Bolivia Foils Coup Attempt Following Military Assault on Presidential Palace

Bolivia Coup Attempt

Bolivian President Luis Arce Confronts Foiled Coup Attempt as Military Retreats from Presidential Palace

In a tense episode in La Paz, Bolivia, armed forces withdrew from the presidential palace late Wednesday evening, following a thwarted coup attempt led by General Juan Jose Zuniga, recently relieved of his military command by President Luis Arce. The turmoil unfolded earlier in the day at Plaza Murillo, the heart of Bolivia’s political center housing the presidential palace and Congress.

Witnesses observed dramatic scenes as an armored vehicle breached the palace’s entrance, with soldiers storming inside. President Arce swiftly denounced the incident as a coup attempt against Bolivia’s democracy, calling upon international support and urging citizens to rally in defense of their constitutional rights.

By evening, police assumed control of Plaza Murillo, and General Zuniga was apprehended by Bolivian authorities, although his exact whereabouts remained undisclosed. Inside the palace, President Arce appointed José Wilson Sanchez as the new military commander, emphasizing a return to calm and order.

The United States issued a statement urging restraint and closely monitoring the situation, as tensions escalate ahead of Bolivia’s upcoming 2025 general elections. The political landscape is fraught, with former President Evo Morales preparing to challenge President Arce, sparking divisions within the ruling socialist party and broader political uncertainty.

General Zuniga, in a prior address to reporters, voiced grievances over Bolivia’s economic challenges and alleged mismanagement, calling for a change in leadership. These remarks followed President Arce’s decision to remove Zuniga from his post after he publicly opposed Morales’ potential return to power.

In response to the day’s events, Morales and supporters of the MAS socialist party vowed to defend democracy, while Bolivia’s public prosecutor’s office announced a criminal investigation into Zuniga and other participants in the failed coup attempt.

International leaders, including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, unequivocally condemned the coup attempt, expressing solidarity with President Arce and Bolivia’s democratic institutions. Even political rivals of the government, such as former President Jeanine Anez, denounced the military intervention as an assault on constitutional order.

As Bolivia navigates these turbulent times, the resilience of its democratic processes and the unity of its people remain paramount in safeguarding stability and upholding the rule of law.

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