Bolivia expels US envoy, alleging anti-government activities

September 11th, 2008 - 11:18 am ICT by IANS  

La Paz, Sep 11 (IANS) Bolivia has expelled US envoy Philip Goldberg for anti-government activities, Spain’s EFE news agency reported.Goldberg is accused of conspiring with “separatist-minded” provincial governors and instigating anti-government protests in southern and eastern Bolivia, the report said.

“Without fear of anyone, without fear of the empire, today in front of you, in front of the Bolivian people, I declare US ambassador (Philip Goldberg) ‘persona non grata’,” Morales said.

“The one who conspires against democracy, seeks division of Bolivia, is the ambassador of the United States,” he said.

The US envoy had served as State Department’s desk officer for Bosnia between 1994 and 1996, and later chief of mission at the American consulate in Kosovo.

Morales accused Goldberg of colluding with separatists in Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando provinces, some of the prosperous regions of the country, for anti-government activities.

The Bolivian government also charged the US Agency for International Development (USAID) of paying $4.5 million to organisations at odds with Morales.

However, US assistant secretary of state Thomas Shannon rejected the government allegation during a recent visit to La Paz and said Goldberg had his full confidence.

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