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Bolivia's Morales warns of 'radical' moves against alleged US support for opposition

Bolivia's Morales warns of 'radical' moves against alleged US support for opposition

President Evo Morales warned Monday he would take "radical decisions" against foreign diplomats who become involved in Bolivian politics, a day after his vice president accused the United States of funding the conservative opposition.
"I cannot understand how some ambassadors dedicate themselves to politics, and not diplomacy, in our country," Morales told a gathering of Bolivia's diplomatic corps in the capital of La Paz. "That is not called cooperation. That is called conspiracy."
He added that while his government would be patient with foreign governments, "at any time we will make radical decisions against those ambassadors who are always provoking us."
On Sunday, Vice President Alvaro Garcia accused the U.S Embassy of financing "publications, trips, and seminars" to help Morales' opposition develop "ideological and political resistance" to the administration. He did not provide details.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Eric Watnik denied the allegations Monday, saying "cooperation from the U.S. is apolitical."
The United States has used its Bolivian aid to oppose Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism party, or MAS, in the past.
A declassified 2002 cable from the U.S. Embassy in La Paz described a U.S. Aid-sponsored "political party reform project" to "help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors."
Embassy officials declined to comment Monday on the memo.
At the time, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, or NDI, a Washington-based organization funded by U.S. Aid, was working with a variety of Bolivian political parties.
NDI Regional Director Jim Swaggert said he was "not aware of anything that suggests a certain goal" to the programs.
He said NDI has worked with MAS delegates rewriting Bolivia's constitution and this year paid for two MAS politicians, as well as delegates from opposition parties, to attend a leadership conference in Mexico.
Despite their differences, the U.S. and Bolivian governments continue to collaborate on anti-drug enforcement, health, and economic development projects. The United States has announced a US$120 million (euro88 million) aid package for Bolivia next year.


Updated : 2021-05-06 16:11 GMT+08:00