Change for the Better: The Chance to Recast U.S.-Bolivian Relations
This excellent article, written by Kathryn Ledebur, Andean Information Network and John Walsh, Washington Office on Latin America was published on Friday, 23 January 2009 by Andean Information Network.
The waning days of the Bush administration saw the breakdown of U.S.-Bolivian relations. The Obama administration and Bolivia’s President Evo Morales should now seize the moment to repair the bilateral relationship, to the benefit of both countries.
In September 2008, Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador, Philip Goldberg, stating that he had violated national sovereignty by interfering in Bolivian political affairs. The Bush administration denied any improper conduct and immediately expelled the Bolivian ambassador, Gustavo Guzman. Evidently as a reprisal for Ambassador Goldberg’s expulsion, the administration then declared (without basis) (1) that Morales’ government had “failed demonstrably” to honor its international drug control obligations and suspended Bolivia from eligibility for benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Accusing members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of engaging in espionage and political interference, President Morales then expelled the DEA from Bolivia.
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