RUSSIA.- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariano Fernández explained today that the decision to remove the Chilean ambassador to the Czech Republic, Marcelo Rozas, from his position was based on the fact that he had commented on matters about which he knew very little, after the diplomat published an opinion column criticizing the progressive leaders' summit.
"The government believes that it is not appropriate for ambassadors to perform journalistic analyses that refer sarcastically to leaders that are going to visit the nation, or leaders with which Chile has a diplomatic relationship", Fernández declared emphatically.
The minister denied that the measure goes against freedom of expression –a claim made by Rozas himself during an interview with El Mercurio-, assuring that in Chile, freedom is "ample and complete and available to anyone".
Nevertheless, Fernández also indicated that diplomats, as government officials, have very clear limits. "I have also written articles as an ambassador, but you have to know that when an ambassador speaks, they speak in the name of the government", he added.