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By Natuza Nery
BRASILIA, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Brazil will not accept any attempt to overthrow the government in Bolivia as opposition protests there spiraled into deadly clashes with government supporters, the Brazilian president’s foreign policy adviser said on Thursday,.
“We won’t tolerate a rupture in the constitutional order of Bolivia,” Marco Aurelio Garcia, foreign policy adviser to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, told a news conference.
“Brazil will not recognize any attempt at a government that would substitute a constitutional government in Bolivia,” Garcia said when asked whether this meant Brazil would send troops to aid the Bolivian government of President Evo Morales.
Brazil has supported Morales’ administration as the legitimate, constitutional government in Bolivia and condemned the violence which has left at least eight dead. [N11288319]
Garcia said Morales was prepared to receive emissaries from Brazil, Argentina and Colombia and only needed to say when.
Bolivian protesters damaged a pipeline on Wednesday, cutting one-tenth of the country’s natural gas exports to Brazil, which relies heavily on them.
A second incident briefly halved Bolivia’s natural gas exports to Brazil on Thursday, though almost all shipments were restored, a pipeline operator said.
Gas supplies to Argentina were also disrupted.
Garcia said Brazil’s view was that destabilizing the country “could cause great damage” to the region and branded the protesters’ actions as “terrorism.”
Morales told Lula he was “pessimistic” about the progress of talks with the opposition, but Bolivia had overcome serious crises before and could do so again, Garcia said.
“We hope that faced with these problems a solution can be found to avoid the hypothesis of a civil war,” he said. (Reporting by Natuza Nery; Writing by Raymond Colitt and Peter Murphy)