Bolivia accuses US of Morales plotting
LA PAZ - Agence France-Presse
Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused the Obama administration of destabilizing the government. AFP photoBolivia on Jan. 6 accused the U.S. embassy in La Paz of actively working to destabilize the government of President Evo Morales, saying it was gathering evidence to present to U.S. President Barack Obama.
There is “irrefutable evidence” that the U.S. mission is working “to damage the image and prestige of the government,” the minister of the presidency, Juan Ramon Quintana, told state media. He said the administration of Morales, a harsh critic of the United States, was “scrupulously following” the embassy’s activities and would present the proof to Obama, to tell him to “stop this political ambush.”
Conspiracy against Bolivia
Quintana cited U.S. reports on the drug war, counter-terrorism and human rights, saying they fail to recognize Bolivia’s progress on “social justice, democratic rights, economic redistribution and fighting the narcotics trade.”
The accusation comes amid the ongoing legal woes of an American businessman who was jailed in Bolivia for 18 months on suspicion of money laundering. Jacob Ostreicher was released on bond and placed under house arrest last month. Ostreicher claims authorities trumped up the charges to extort money from him. Morales accused Jan. 4 the U.S. embassy of using Ostreicher’s case to conspire against his government, suggesting Washington had used the case as a means of “political aggression.”
Washington only recently reopened its embassy in La Paz after Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador in 2008, prompting the U.S. to quickly follow suit. Morales also expelled representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and USAID, accusing them all of meddling in internal affairs.