Bolivia expels another US diplomat

March 10th, 2009 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS  

La Paz, March 10 (EFE) Bolivia has expelled another US diplomat accusing him of conspiring against the government of President Evo Morales.
Morales said Monday that he ordered the expulsion of Francisco Martinez, second secretary at US embassy in La Paz, for having links with the country’s right-wing opposition and conspiring against his government.

“Martinez was in contact with opposition groups during the entire conspiracy stage,” the president said, referring to weeks of violent protests mounted last September by provincial governments in eastern Bolivia.

“He was the person in the US Embassy who was in contact with some ex-cops who operated in the Special Operations Centre, so today I decided to declare him persona non grata,” Morales said in a speech at the presidential palace.

Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said that Martinez was given 72 hours to leave the country.

Last September, Morales had expelled US envoy Philip Goldberg on similar accusations of conspiring against the government.

That decision was countered by the US with the expulsion of Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman.

Weeks later, Morales ordered all US Drug Enforcement Administration personnel to leave Bolivia.

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