The U.S. State Department says it will send an ambassador to Bolivia for the first time in more than 11 years. It’s the Trump administration’s latest show of support for the right-wing government that took power after President Evo Morales was deposed in a military coup last November.
Under Secretary of State David Hale said in a video statement Thursday that the U.S. is looking to restore what he called a “normal relationship” between the U.S. and Bolivia. Hale traveled to the presidential palace in La Paz this week, where he met with Jeanine Áñez, who declared herself interim president in November. Áñez has a history of using racist, anti-indigenous language and has vowed to bring the Bible back to the presidency.
The last U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, was expelled in 2008 by then-President Evo Morales, who accused the George W. Bush administration of working to destabilize his government. At least 32 anti-coup protesters have been killed by security forces since President Morales’s ouster last November, most of them indigenous people.