On Tuesday May 31, 2011, we had a guest that many of us did not know was here and apparently he was also asked to leave on the run, few hours after attending high level and important ceremonies… this kind of issues can only happen here in our beloved Bolivia… unfortunately.
Personnel of the Defense Ministry invited Iran’s Defense Ministry, Ahmad Vahidi to attend at least two ceremonies today (one at the anniversary of the Aviation Academy here in Santa Cruz. This individual is being hunted by the Interpol at the request of the Argentinian Government. Vahidi is accused of being the brain on the terrorist attack to AMIA (Jewish Argentinian Association), where 85 people were killed and 300 injured people in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994.
At least our Chancellor had the common decency to write an apologetic letter to our Argentinian neighbors. Iran’s minister is said to have diplomatic privileges, otherwise he could have been arrested by local Interpol, as there is an international order to capture him. I believe we as country could have avoided this mishap, this embarrassment with the Argentinian nation that has long history, tradition and common roots.
Inviting conflicting people will sooner or later bring unnecessary headaches, we just hope this is the end of a questioned alliance with Iran. I have family who live in the middle east and they tell me that those countries are very cautious to engage with Iran, let alone allowing them to make remarks such as: “we will come to the aid of Bolivia, in military terms, if Bolivia asks for it.” The following articles reads “Iran is willing to military support Bolivia” it is very clear that the intent to support mainly goes to current president. Venezuela and Bolivia have been engaging in negotiations and visiting back and forth without any consideration of previous history, such as the terrorist attack in Argentina.
I agree with the government that Bolivia should engage with most of the nations, but I would also expect to engage with reputable ones, countries that will come with a constructive and positive view, rather than hate and belligerence. I hope Argentinian people understand this as a mistake and that we continue to have long-lasting and amicable relations.