In Bolivia, thousands of miners are now returning to work after reaching an agreement with the country's new military rulers.
CU Bolivian President, Luis Garcia Meza, speaking in Spanish at La Paz news conference (4 shots)
GV PAN Roman Catholic church in La Paz
SV INTERIOR Bolivian Roman catholic Archbishop Jorge Manrique behind altar and speaking to congregation in Spanish (4 shots)
SV Peru: Leaders of Andean Pact countries posing for photographers in Lima (2 shots)
SCU Two delegates embracing as crowd applauds
SCU Venezuelan President Herrera Campins speaking in Spanish PAN TO Andean Pact leaders and delegates at conference table
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Background: In Bolivia, thousands of miners are now returning to work after reaching an agreement with the country's new military rulers. The miners, who went on strike soon after the military coup on July the seventeenth, have now agreed not to take part in any "subversive activities". In return, the armed forces promise job security for the miners and have undertaken not to carry out any arrests.
SYNOPSIS: The leader of the military coup, General Luis Garcia Meza, met newsmen on Tuesday (29 July) for the first time since July the seventeenth. He declared that the armed forces had fixed no date for restoring civilian rule.
General Garcia told the newsmen that his military government would crack down hard on dissenters but, at the same time, would respect what he called the "social achievements of he workers."
General Garcia blamed Cuba's Fidel Castro and Communism for interfering with Bolivia's national sovereignty. "We want to build a free, just country", he declared, "and we don't need interference from Cuba -- or the United States. We can look after ourselves".
The General confirmed that his government was investigating the possibility of withdrawing from the Andean Pact. This follows the Pact's recent criticism of the coup which deposed former President, Lidia Gueler. General Garcia has also strongly denied reports of a massacre during the coup and says he will invite representatives from all countries to see for themselves.
But strong criticism of General Garcia's policies has come from the Roman Catholic Church n Bolivia. The Archbishop of La Paz Jorge Manrique, in a sermon last Sunday (27 July), demanded that a commission of inquiry be set up to look into alleged disappearances of large numbers of people. In particular, the Archbishop condemned the violence of the Bolivian armed forces. Severe violations of human rights had occurred, he said, and it was time the generals restored law and order.
In Peru, leaders of the Andean Pact countries have roundly condemned Bolivia -- on of its own members -- for the coup which brought General Garcia to power. Andean Pact leaders were in Lima for the inauguration of the new President, Belaunde Terry, and to witness the restoration of civilian rule in Peru. The Venezuelan President, Herrera Campins, joined other Andean Pact leaders in calling for the full establishment of democratic rule and human rights in Bolivia.
President Turbay Ayala of Colombia joined Ecuador and Peru in signing a declaration condemning the recent events in Bolivia.