Amigos de Sucre

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The U.S. votes – and Bolivia waits…

Bolivia has not really got on too well with President Bush’s administration.

Over the past year they have expelled each other’s ambassadors.  Bolivia has accused U.S. officials of supporting anti-government demonstrations, whilst the U.S. has withdrawn trade benefits because it says Bolivia is not co-operating as much as they would like on the battle against illegal drugs.

So this morning I was fascinated by a headline in my inbox this morning: “Bolivia wants better ties with next U.S. government.”

What does Bolivia expect from the new administration?  I’m not so sure that either candidate in the U.S. would change much in the relationship with Bolivia.  A new U.S. President cannot be seen to be soft on drugs, and unfortunately for many people the local uses of the coca leaf in Bolivia are ignored – for them it is the basis for cocaine and nothing else.

President Morales, on the other hand, will not want to make concessions to a new U.S. President and disadvantage his own people.

So whatever the outcome of today’s election, I think the stalemate will continue.  But perhaps with the right result, it may be a case of laissez-faire, with each side leaving the other to get on with their policies.  In the long run this could help both countries more than applying unwanted pressure.


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