Bolivia's Morales takes on US


President Evo Morales is tired of his people's protests.


Stan Honda

Bolivia and the U.S. still aren't getting along.

Bolivia, a massive coca producer, has accused the U.S. of fomenting unrest in an effort to overthrow the president.

The thing is, Bolivians haven’t been too happy lately with their government.

Some have marched in protest of a massive road the government wants to build through the rainforest where they live. Others are angry about poor infrastructure and housing, and recently blocked roads and burned tires in the capital, La Paz.

But Morales is convinced the superpower is behind it.

A Bolivian official said that the U.S. aid agency, USAID, was helping to destabilize the government and should be expelled from the country for its secret efforts.

GlobalPost on Bolivia: On a mission to legalize coca

The U.S. and Bolivia have been at odds for years now, largely over the production of coca, which is used to make things like tea and cookies, but also cocaine. Morales wants to grow coca to boost the Bolivian economy; the U.S. wants to wipe out cocaine.

The U.S. is pleading not guilty. 

In a statement on its website, the  the U.S. embassy said that it “maintains dialogue with various sectors of Bolivian society” for purposes of diplomacy. That very likely includes a chat with the indigeous leaders organizing the march. But the U.S. said it hasn't aided them:

We emphasize that neither the United States Embassy in Bolivia nor any other element of the U.S. government has given any support to the indigenous march.

Morales critics say his gripes are an attempt to find a scapegoat. As one opposition politician told CNN:  

"Once again the government dusts off an old ghost when it finds itself facing situations like this, and tries to show a conspiracy."

So it’s either a vast conspiracy, or the struggling economy. We’ll go with door number 2.