Bolivian soldiers storm presidential palace, raising coup fears

Bolivian armed forces took control of the capital’s central square on Wednesday, with an armored vehicle ramming the entrance to the presidential palace, sparking fears of a military coup.

President Luis Arce condemned the “irregular mobilization” of army units in La Paz, while former leader Evo Morales accused a top general of plotting a coup.

Heavily armed soldiers and armored vehicles were seen in Plaza Murillo, and journalists observed an armored vehicle forcing its way into the presidential palace, followed by soldiers.

General Juan Jose Zuniga, speaking to local TV, expressed dismay over the current situation and indicated changes in the cabinet of ministers, stating, “Our country cannot continue like this any longer.” He urged an end to destruction, poverty, and humiliation of the army, claiming public support for the military’s actions.

Morales, who has split from Arce despite both belonging to the same socialist movement, announced mobilization to defend democracy.

He accused Zuniga of attempting a coup and called for a general work stoppage and road blockades.

“We will not allow the armed forces to violate democracy and intimidate people,” Morales declared.

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