Doug Palmer from Reuters reports:
President George W. Bush is moving to suspend longtime U.S. trade benefits for Bolivia because of that country's failure to cooperate in drug-fighting efforts in the past year, the top U.S. trade official said on Friday.
The move reflects the increasingly strained relations between the United States and Bolivia under the leadership of Bolivian President Evo Morales.
"The Morales administration's recent actions related to narcotics cooperation are not those of a partner and are not consistent with the rules of these programs," U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said in a statement.
Unfortunately, as CEPR has shown, the Bush administration has all but undermined ANY U.S. government presence in Bolivia by taking sides in the country's internal political debates, and has even politicized institutions like the Peace Corps, which is supposed to be a non-political channel for U.S. kids to do some good around the world. Way to go, W!
"In South America there was unanimous and very strong support for the government. Other countries from the region, left, right and center, don't see the opposition as having a legitimate grievance," said Mark Weisbrot, head of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Even Colombia's Uribe is backing Evo! What gives, Georgie?