Bolivia government says won't invite Maduro to Arce inauguration

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Nicolas Maduro (left) and Luis Arce (right) took part at a regional conference in Lima in 2011 before either was elected president
Nicolas Maduro (left) and Luis Arce (right) took part at a regional conference in Lima in 2011 before either was elected president

Bolivia's outgoing interim government will not invite Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro to the inauguration of new socialist leader Luis Arce, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Maduro was a close ally of former Bolivian president Evo Morales, who preceded Arce as head of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party.

But he won't be at Arce's November 8 inauguration as interim president Jeanine Anez's conservative government doesn't recognize him as Venezuela's rightful leader, backing opposition figure Juan Guaido instead.

The ministry said the Arce administration had asked to invite Maduro and Morales, who currently lives in exile in Argentina, to the La Paz ceremony but that it "will not extend such invitations."

Morales, who spent almost 14 years in power before resigning amid protests at his controversial reelection to an unconstitutional fourth term a year ago, has already confirmed he will not return to Bolivia until November 9.

When Anez took power, she broke off relations with Maduro's government, which had been very close to the Morales regime during the 14 years when both countries were run by socialist leaders.

Arce's administration did not comment on the decision.

jac/gma/bc/ft