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Bolivia’s Arce shows Washington red card, says there will be no progress in relations

Bolivian, Bolivia’s Arce shows Washington red card, says there will be no progress in relations

Bolivian President Luis Arce said bilateral relations with the United States will not improve and will remain without ambassadors, accusing Washington of supporting the 2019 coup d’état when Jeanine Áñez (2019-2020) assumed the de facto presidency.

In November 2019, Áñez took power amid social unrest and with the backing of the armed forces after former President Evo Morales (2006-2019) was pressured to resign.

On that occasion, the European Union (EU) and the U.S. government explicitly backed Añez.

Bolivian, Bolivia’s Arce shows Washington red card, says there will be no progress in relations

In what became known as a coup d’état, Añez was sentenced on Jun. 10 to 10 years in prison for dereliction of duty and resolutions that violated the Bolivian Constitution.

On Sept. 12, 2008, former President Morales expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg for conspiracy against the Bolivian government and interference.

Shortly before, the Bolivian government reiterated that the fight against drug trafficking in Latin America should be conducted without U.S. interference after Bolivia was included in a list of drug transit and production countries.

Speaking at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Bolivian President Luis Arce rejected his country’s inclusion in the list of drug producers.

“Bolivia is pursuing a sovereign policy to combat drug trafficking and has achieved important results,” he said.

On Sept. 16, Joe Biden’s administration released a presidential memorandum naming Bolivia as one of four Latin American countries that have “demonstrably failed to make significant efforts” to combat drug trafficking.

In response to the report, Arce accused the U.S. of failing to combat drugs and recommended an in-depth analysis of the current situation.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) warned of the increase in overdose deaths in the United States and Canada in its 2021 annual report, released on Mar. 22.

According to the study, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in the 12 months ending April 2021, a 28.5 percent increase from the previous year.

Of those deaths, 75,600 were caused by opioids, nearly 20,000 more deaths than the previous year.

 

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