US embassy in La Paz, Bolivia
Bolivia has said that the US embassy in La Paz is actively working to undermine the government of President Evo Morales.
There is “irrefutable evidence” that the US mission is working “to damage the image and prestige of the government,” AFP quoted Juan Ramon Quintana, the minister of the presidency, as saying on Sunday.
The senior official noted that the government was “scrupulously following” the embassy’s activities and is gathering evidence to present to US President Barack Obama to tell him to “stop this political ambush.”
Citing US reports on drug war, counter-terrorism, and human rights, Quintana said the United States has failed to recognize Bolivia’s progress on “social justice, democratic rights, economic redistribution, and fighting the narcotics trade.”
On Friday, the US, along Britain, Italy, and Sweden, formally objected to Bolivia’s rejoining the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, saying the country should ban the traditional habit of coca leaf chewing.
Bolivia has long argued that coca leaf has been used with little harmful effect to health as a hunger-suppressant and mild stimulant for thousands of years in South America’s Andean region.
On September 8, 2012, Morales said the United States became a “refuge for criminals” in response to Washington’s refusal to extradite former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who is wanted in connection with the deaths of 63 people during an Army crackdown on anti-government protesters in October 2003.
Morales has been publicly critical of US policies towards his nation, charging that a number of non-governmental organizations have been engaged in spying against the country on behalf of the US.