Bolivia Expels USAID: Not Why, but Why Not Sooner?
- Below is a table of all US aid, economic( which has strings attached on how
you can spend it), training and military sales to Bolivia since 2006 which
is president Morales time in office.
Interesting the amount of arms under Direct Commercial Sales since 2006 and
in 2004 the US sold Ammunition Manufacturing Equipment and a big increase
in 2011 of Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological
Agents, and Associated Equipment.
Bolivia Expels USAID: Not Why, but Why Not Sooner?[image:
by Jake Johnston and Stephan Lefebvre, CEPR Thursday, 02 May 2013 12:34
Source The Americas
At a speech celebrating May Day in Bolivia today, President Evo Morales
announced the expulsion of the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) from the country. According to the
"The United States does not lack institutions that continue to conspire,
and that's why I am using this gathering to announce that we have decided
to expel USAID from Bolivia.�
The role of USAID in Bolivia has been a primary point of
the U.S. and Bolivia dating back to at least
State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell
statement as �baseless allegations.� While State Department spokespeople
and many commentators<http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-bolivia-kerry-ejecting-usaid-20130501,0,2165962.story>
characterize USAID's work with oppositional groups as appropriate, a look
at the agency's work over the past decade paints a very different picture.
Documents obtained by investigative journalist Jeremy
that as early as 2002, USAID funded a �Political Party Reform Project,�
which sought to �serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS [Morales�
political party] or its successors.� Later USAID began a
provide support to fledgling regional governments,� some of which were
pushing for regional autonomy and were involved in the September 2008
destabilization campaign that left some 20 indigenous Bolivians dead.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has continually refused to
recipients of aid funds. As a recent CEPR report on USAID activities in
Haiti concluded, U.S. aid often goes into a �black
it becomes impossible to determine who the ultimate recipients actually are.
Some of these USAID programs were implemented by the Office of Transition
Initiatives (OTI) from the period 2004-2007. Adocument obtained by
a Freedom of Information Act request, reveals the role OTI plays in U.S.
foreign policy. The document notes that OTI �seeks to focus its resources
where they will have the greatest impact on U.S. diplomatic and security
interests,� adding that �OTI cannot create a transition or impose
democracy, but it can identify and support key individuals and groups who
are committed to peaceful, participatory reform. In short, OTI acts as a
catalyst for change where there is sufficient indigenous political will."
It was through OTI<http://www1.usaid.gov/our_work/cross-cutting_programs/transition_initiatives/country/bolivia/rpt0607.html>
USAID was funding regional governments prior to the September 2008 events.
While USAID has since closed the OTI office in Bolivia, and overall funding
levels have been greatly reduced, USAID has still channeled at least $200
million <http://foreignassistance.gov/OU.aspx?FY=2013&OUID=191&AgencyID=0> into
the country since 2009.
Wikileaks cables reveal that the U.S. has long taken an adversarial
approach to the Morales government, while even acknowledging the
clandestine and oppositional nature of U.S. aid.
In one cable written by Ambassador Greenlee from January
just months after Morales� election, he notes that �U.S. assistance, the
largest of any bilateral donor by a factor of three, is often hidden by our
use of third parties to dispense aid with U.S. funds.� In the same cable,
Greenlee acknowledges that �[m]any USAID-administered economic programs run
counter to the direction the GOB [Government of Bolivia] wishes to move the
The cable goes on to outline a �carrot and sticks� approach to the new
Bolivian government, outlining possible actions to be taken to pressure the
government to take �positive policy actions.� Three areas where the U.S.
would focus were on coca policy, the nationalization of hydrocarbons (which
�would have a negative impact on U.S. investors�) and the forming of the
constituent assembly to write a new constitution. Possible sticks
included; using veto authority within the Inter-American Development Bank
to oppose loans to Bolivia, postponing debt cancellation and threatening to
suspend trade benefits.
Another cable <https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06LAPAZ6_a.html>,
also written by Greenlee, reporting on a meeting between U.S. officials and
the Morales government notes that the Ambassador stated in the meeting,
�When you think of the IDB, you should think of the U.S�.This is not
blackmail, it is simple reality.�
Later cables, as reported by Green Left
show the U.S. role in fomenting dissent within indigenous groups and other
*Not Why, But Why Not Sooner*
The AP spoke with Kathryn
the Andean Information Network, reporting that she �was not surprised by
the expulsion itself but by the fact that Morales took so long to do it
after repeated threats.� Given the amount of evidence in declassified
documents that point to U.S. aid funds going to opposition groups and being
used to bolster opposition to the Morales government, the expulsion indeed
comes as little surprise. Further, as evidence continues to mount of the
role of USAID in undermining governments, governments from across the
region have become more openly critical of the U.S. aid
As Brazilian investigative journalist Natalia Viana recently detailed in *The
USAID was funding groups in Paraguay that would eventually be involved in
the ouster of President Lugo. Viana writes that through USAID�s largest
program in Paraguay, they would end up supporting �some of the very
institutions that would play a central role in impeaching Lugo six years
later, including not just the police force but the Public Ministry and the
Additionally, the role of USAID in funding opposition groups in Venezuela
has been well documented<http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-politics-of-political-aid-in-venezuela/6391>.
A recently released Wikileaks
the U.S. government�s five point strategy for Venezuela, which the cable
makes clear USAID worked to implement. The goals were; �1) Strengthening
Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez' Political Base, 3) Dividing
Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US business, and 5) Isolating Chavez
Last June, immediately following the Paraguay coup, the ALBA group of
countries (of which Bolivia is a member) signed a
that �the heads of state and the government of the states who are members
of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, immediately
expel USAID and its delegates or representatives from their countries, due
to the fact that we consider their presence and actions to constitute an
interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of our nations.�
At the time, President Correa of Ecuador stated that he was writing up new
rules for USAID engagement in the country and that �If they don�t want to
follow them, then �So long.�� While Bolivia may be the first of these
countries to actually expel USAID, the question may not be why Bolivia is
doing this, but rather why didn�t Bolivia do this sooner?
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