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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07LAPAZ2406 2007-08-31 19:55:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
Cable title:  

SUCRE SLIPPING TOWARD THE EDGE

Tags:   ECON PGOV PREL BL 
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1. (C) The city of Sucre is inching closer to a potential
confrontation as both the government and opposition have
asked their partisans to take to the streets. Saying he does
not want to be responsible for any confrontation and placing
the blame squarely on President Evo Morales, Governor David
Sanchez (MAS) unexpectedly resigned on August 30 . Minister
of Government Alredo Rada has denied press reports of
Venezuelan aircraft loaded with arms landing at the Sucre
airport and of Bolivian armed forces being moved into
Chuquisaca. Embassy sources mention September 10 as a
possible date when the MAS will try to ram through its new
constitution. End summary.



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MAS GOVERNOR RESIGNS


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2. (C) Less than a week after a MAS constituent assemblyman
resigned from his position, another MAS moderate has quit.
Chuquisaca Prefect (governor) David Sanchez unexpectedly
resigned, saying he does not want to be responsible for any
confrontation and placing the blame squarely on President Evo
Morales. Sources tell us Sanchez decided to quit after he
traveled to La Paz on August 29 and the president refused to
meet with him. Sanchez, an evangelical Christian, was not
considered a hard-core MAS member.



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GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION SHOWDOWN?


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3. (C) Protests continue in Sucre and the Constituent
Assembly remains temporarily suspended until the week of
September 3 when a review of whether to put the capital city
debate back on the agenda is due to take place. Minister of
Government Alfredo Rada called a press conference on August
31 to deny news reports of Venezuelan aircraft loaded with
arms landing at the Sucre airport and of Bolivian armed
forces being moved into Chuquisaca. Meanwhile various
campesino and cocalero groups are making their way to Sucre.
Vice President Garcia Linera has publicly said that
government supporters should outnumber the opposition by "10
to 1". In addition, Embassy sources mention September 10 as
a possible date when the MAS will try to ram through its
version of a new constitution.



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COMMENT


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4. (C) Sanchez' resignation has again focused attention on
Bolivia's domestic problems. Unless the government or
opposition backs off, Sucre appears to be headed toward a
potentially violent confrontation. End Comment.
URS