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Relations Warm, But Bolivia’s President Still Says No to DEA

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Three years after expelling US Ambassador Phillip Goldberg and the DEA, Bolivia’s populist president Evo Morales has made moves to warm ties with the US.

But not so fast for the DEA, says a report from the Associated Press.

Morales kicked US diplomats and law enforcement officias out of the country in 2008, but a new pact calls for “the restoration of ambassadors as soon as possible and close cooperation in counter narcotics, trade and development” the Associated Press reported, citing an anonymous US source.

But US drug agents are not welcome back, as a matter of “dignity and sovereignty,” according to the AP.

Before his election in 2005, Morales led a union of coca growers, farmers of the plant that cocaine is derived from, but of which the leaves are traditionally chewed as a coffee-like stimulant in Bolivian culture. He says he was “personally a victim” of US agents controlled by Bolivian military and police.

“For the first time since Bolivia was founded, the United States will now respect Bolivia’s rules” and laws, Morales said.

Bolivia is the No. 3 producer of cocaine, and drug officials say the narcotic’s production has increased since the DEA was expelled.

To read more click here.


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