Former Bolivian president Evo Morales has flown to Argentina, where the new centre-left government said it has granted him political asylum.
“I’ve come to Argentina to keep fighting for the most humble people,” Mr Morales said. “I feel strong and excited.”
He will live in the capital with his two children, who arrived on November 23. The former president fled Bolivia for Mexico last month after nationwide protests and a loss of support from the police and military, then travelled to Cuba for several days.
We don't want to see what happened in Mexico, where Evo Morales had an open microphone and a stage.Bolivian foreign minister
Argentina foreign minister Felipe Sola said the country’s proximity to Bolivia was attractive to Mr Morales.
“He feels better here than in Mexico, which is far away,” said Mr Sola, who took office on Tuesday in the new government of President Alberto Fernandez.
Bolivian foreign minister Karen Longaric said she hoped Argentina would not become a platform for Mr Morales to play a long-distance role in Bolivian politics.
“We expect the Argentine government to comply with international norms of political asylum,” she said. “We don’t want to see what happened in Mexico, where Evo Morales had an open microphone and a stage.”
Mr Sola said Mr Morales would have a justified fear for his safety if he stayed in Bolivia.
“If we didn’t take care of him he’d very quickly be afraid for his life,” Mr Sola said, adding that he expect that Mr Morales would not make political statements from his new home in Argentina.
Mr Morales was accompanied by at least four former high-ranking officials in his administration. He has been accused of sedition and terrorism by the administration of interim President Jeanine Anez, who took power amid unrest that claimed at least 32 lives.