LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
Bolivia's new president, General Guido Vildoso, has taken charge of a country on the verge of bankruptcy.
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
1. AV People assembling in street in La Paz, outside the Palacio Quemado 0.08
2. SV Police on motorcycles 0.13
3. SV PAN Marchers carrying banners arriving at the palace 0.26
4. SV PULL BACK TO GV Police in riot gear positioned outside palace/police on motorcycles 0.32
5. SV PAN INTERIOR General Natalio Morales, Airforce Commander-in-Chief, swearing in new President, General Guido Vildoso 1.04
6. SV PAN Armed forces commanders looking on 1.14
7. SVs New President receiving presidential sash from General Morales, as other commanders look on (2 shots) 1.33
8. SV New President General Vildoso, making inaugural speech 2.08
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Background: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
Bolivia's new president, General Guido Vildoso, has taken charge of a country on the verge of bankruptcy. He was sworn in on July 21 by Airforce Commander-in-Chief Natalio Morales in a ceremony delayed for nine hours while military leaders wrangled over their command structure. His investiture was marked by demonstrations in the capital La Paz, following a call by the Central Union of Bolivian workers for a one-hour stoppage. Bolivia needs new foreign loans, but the government first needs an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reluctant to help unless oil prices are put up and sugar and wheat subsidies are stopped. The result would be further increases in prices of essential goods. Combined with Bolivia's current runaway inflation, such measures might do more to exacerbate social unrest then redress the country's collapsed economy. At 45, General Vildoso is one of Bolivia's youngest generals. He is a former Health Minister, and took part in the right-wing military coup of 1980 which brought General Celso Torrelio Villa to power. It was partly further pressure from the military right-wing which toppled General Torrelio on July 20.
Source: REUTERS - DANIEL BAUER