President Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia - who took office in August 1971 after a right-wing military coup overthrew the left-wing regime of President Juan Torres - gave an exclusive interview to VISNEWS Latin American Correspondent Martin Davis in La Paz on Friday, December 1st.
LV INT President Banzer seated facing interviewer (SILENT SHOT)
SCU Banzer listening to first question
SCU Banzer replying
SCU Interviewer asking question
SCU Banzer answering
Initials ESP/2343 ESP/2356
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia - who took office in August 1971 after a right-wing military coup overthrew the left-wing regime of President Juan Torres - gave an exclusive interview to VISNEWS Latin American Correspondent Martin Davis in La Paz on Friday, December 1st.
First, the President emphasised the economic stabilization of Bolivia in the 28 months of his Government - due primarily, he said, to the freezing of prices and wages, and to a development plan worked with the backing of the major political parties.
Then, the President was questioned on the party conflicts which had torn the country apart in the past, and whether he thought the formation of an all-party bloc would be the solution for the future. He replied that such blo???s were not considered necessary - but that the unity between the Armed Forces and the major parties following last year's coup, was the basis for the re-establishing of national values. He was also questioned about press reports abroad, which accused his government of repression and political persecutions. He replied that there was full freedom - and that any such accusations could only come from deposed elements who had to defend their anarchic position by criticising the Government which had restored peace and social order to Bolivia.
SYNOPSIS: President Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia, who came to power in August 1971, following a right-wing military coup, was interviewed in La Paz last week.
After emphasising the stabilization of the country since his taking over the Government from the left-wing regime of General Torres, President Banzer was asked about the Party conflicts which had torn the country apart in the past, and whether he thought the formation of an all-party bloc would be the solution - as it appears to have been in the case of the P.R.I. of Mexico.
The President replied: "We are not searching to form such government blocs. In the case of Bolivia, the historic unions of August twenty-first last year, have made possible the joining of the two major political parties with the Armed Forces, with a common objective: the re-establishment of national values, without a predominance of individual groups or persons.
The next question posed to the Bolivian Head of State, referred to certain press reports - published in foreign newspapers and magazines - in which his Government had been accused of repression against the opposition, and persecution of political and military rivals.
In his reply, President Banzer said: "In my country, as you yourself have been able to see, there exists full freedom for the exercise of civil rights. The frequent accusation to which you refer come from deposed elements who, naturally, have to defend their anarchic position, criticising the Government that has restored peace and social order to Bolivia."