Bolivian President Evo Morales has ordered the expulsion of the United States Agency for International Development — USAID — from his country. In a speech, Morales cited the recent comments of Secretary of State John Kerry referring to Latin America as the U.S. backyard. He also accused USAID of using international assistance for political destabilization.
Bolivian President Evo Morales: “Some institutions from the U.S. embassy continue to conspire against this process, against the people and especially against the national government. And that is why, using this gathering and the first of May, we’ve decided to expel USAID from Bolivia. USAID is leaving Bolivia. I ask our brother foreign minister to immediately speak with the U.S. embassy. No more USAID which manipulates, uses our brothers with charity.”
Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador and the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008, prompting the United States to ban Bolivia’s top envoy shortly after. In Washington, a State Department spokesperson rejected Morales’ claims and said the United States is mulling a response.
Patrick Ventrell: “The U.S. government does deeply regret the Bolivian government’s decision to expel the U.S. Agency for International Development. We deny the baseless allegations made by the Bolivian government. Whether we’ll take an action in response is yet to be determined, but the people who suffer because of this are the Bolivian people who were receiving our assistance.”