Bolivia’s current foreign policy: A primer
Since , the U.S. and Bolivia have not had ambassadorial relations. Bolivia also expelled the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and US. In the s, the growth of Bolivia's narcotics industry dominated United States- Bolivia relations. Drug enforcement programs in Bolivia were begun in the. Relations between the United States and Bolivia, strained though they have been since , may soon improve. That year, left-wing President.
The status of the relationship is best shown by the exchange of diplomats. Appointed this past May, the new Bolivian ambassador to Cuba is not just anyone.
Chile and the U. As a result of these tensions, the two neighboring countries cut diplomatic ties in Despite the official animosity, personal exchanges remain rich and deep.
The maritime claim is the one topic all Bolivians agree on. In his Independence Day speech this year August 6thMorales seemed to reach out to Chile, declaring the following: There should not be any losers or winners.
How the relation will continue to evolve depends much on the outcome of the Chilean presidential election later this year. Some might say too close.
Bolivia’s current foreign policy: A primer
But since Morales took power it has turned sour. Sincethe U. The textile-manufacturing sector, which benefitted from tariff preferences with the U.
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Indeed, the country was too dependent on the United States, financially and politically speaking. The deterioration of relations with the U.
And even though Venezuela and other countries started buying the leftover textiles, it was not enough to save the sector, demonstrating that ideological affinities and alliances are not sufficient to sustain balanced trade relations. Little by little, thousands lost their jobs or had to switch fields.
Siles Zuazo's government, however, was incapable of carrying out an effective antinarcotics program. Opposition from social groups, the significance of traditional coca use in Bolivia, and the absence of a major drug law were the most commonly cited explanations for this failure.
Between andthe total number of hectares under cultivation doubled, and the flow of cocaine out of Bolivia increased accordingly. In Mayin a final effort to save face with Washington, the Siles Zuazo government approved a decree calling for extensive drug enforcement programs; the United States perceived this effort as too little and too late, however. Under Paz Estenssoro's governmentwhich made sincere efforts to combat the drug trade, relations with the United States improved significantly.
As a result, aid to support economic reforms increased dramatically. The major obstacle to harmonious relations, however, remained the prevalence of drug trafficking. During the Paz Estenssoro government, United States policy toward Bolivia was split between congressional efforts to enforce the Foreign Assistance Act, limiting aid to countries that engaged in drug trafficking, and the Reagan administration's stated objective of helping consolidate and strengthen democratic institutions in Latin America.
Bolivia - US Relations
Both aspects of United States policy were responsible for setting the course of relations with Bolivia. In AugustCorr was replaced by Edward Rowell, who worked closely with the new Paz Estenssoro government to combat Bolivia's economic crisis and the flourishing drug trade. The committee's report revealed a deep distrust for Paz Estenssoro's stated intention to carry on with the drug battle and to implement fully the provisions of the May decree.
Simultaneously, however, the Bolivian government secretly entered into Operation Blast Furnace, a joint Bolivian-United States effort aimed at destroying cocaine laboratories in Beni Department and arresting drug traffickers.
Despite the outcry from political party leaders on the left, who argued that the operation required Bolivian congressional approval because it involved foreign troop movements through the nation's territory, Operation Blast Furnace began in July with the presence of over United States troops. Despite Bolivia's evident willingness to fight the drug war, the United States Congress remained reluctant to certify the country's compliance with the Foreign Assistance Act.
In Octoberthe Bolivian envoy to Washington, Fernando Illanes, appeared before the United States Senate to report on the progress made under Operation Blast Furnace and on the intention of the Bolivian government to approve an effective drug law to both eradicate the coca leaf and control the proliferation of cocaine production.
Revelations of continued involvement in the drug trade by Bolivian government officials, however, undermined the efforts of Paz Estenssoro's administration to satisfy the demands of the United States Congress.Who Hates Who In Latin America - Joanna Rants
The United States has supported efforts to interdict the smuggling of coca leaves, cocaine, and precursor chemicals, as well as investigate and prosecute trafficking organizations.
However, these efforts have been significantly constrained after the expulsion of DEA. Government continues to finance alternative development programs and the counternarcotics police effort. In September Bolivia's president asked a South American regional bloc to "decertify" the United States in its anti-drug efforts. Evo Morales said that if Washington sees fit to judge nations for their counternarcotics efforts, the Union of South American Nations should be able to do the same.
Morales accused the United States of being the "origin" of the drug trade as a leading drug consumer. Bolivia is the third-largest producer of coca leaf, the raw ingredient for cocaine. This Presidential determination was based, in part, on evidence that Bolivia had yet to reverse the increases in net coca cultivation of the past several years, although in it appeared that production had stabilized.
Bolivia - The United States
By Bolivia was the world's third largest cocaine producer and a significant transit zone for Peruvian-origin cocaine. Existing reports indicate that most Bolivian-origin cocaine exports flow to other Latin American countries, especially Brazil, for domestic consumption or onward transit to West Africa and Europe. Bolivia and the United States restored full diplomatic ties November 07, for the first time since The new diplomatic agreement includes the two nations cooperating in the war on drugs, but did not address the issue of American DEA agents returning to Bolivia.
There was no specific date for the ambassadors to return to their respective diplomatic posts. The United States and Bolivia have traditionally had cordial and cooperative relations.
Development assistance from the United States to Bolivia dates from the s; the U. Inthe U. USAID has been providing assistance to Bolivia since the s and works with the Government of Bolivia, the private sector, and the Bolivian people to achieve equitable and sustainable development. In addition to working closely with Bolivian Government officials to strengthen bilateral relations, the U. Embassy provides a wide range of services to U.
Political and economic officers interact directly with the Bolivian Government in advancing U. Commercial officers work closely with numerous U. The officers also provide information on Bolivian trade and industry regulations and on administering several programs intended to aid U.
The Consular Section of the Embassy, and the two consular agencies in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, provide vital services to the estimated 13, American citizens who reside in Bolivia.