Friday, January 8, 2010

Bolivia refuses to be U.S. slave: VP

This piece comes from the Xinhua News Agency. I send it to you as a public service.

January 5, 2010

Bolivia refuses to be U.S. slave: VP

LA PAZ: The Bolivian government said on Monday that it refuses to
blindly cater to the economic or political desires of the United States.

Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said that as La Paz
wanted to reset its diplomatic ties with Washington, based on mutual
respect, the country should not become a slave of the United States,
which he described as "the most important power and the market of the
world."

In an interview with Radio Erbol, Bolivia's national radio, Garcia
said Bolivia had been "the most subordinated" Latin American country
to the United States in the past.

"We do not want a market in exchange for them (Americans) telling us
who must be the master. We do not want tax preference in exchange for
them telling us what must be our economic policy, because that will
make us become a slave and a colony again," Garcia said.

According to Garcia, U.S. President Barack Obama, like his
predecessor George W. Bush, had a "strong war policy" which did not
allow ties between the two countries to improve.

"When he (Obama) learns to recognize that the world is a community of
sovereign states, which voluntarily are independent, we will have
better ties with the United States," Garcia said.

However, he added that Bolivia was open to establishing ties with all
the countries in the world based on mutual respect of sovereignty.

Bolivian-U.S. ties were frozen since September 2008, when La Paz
expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg for allegedly interfering
with internal affairs, and Washington took the same retaliatory measure.

This incident also had consequences in the commercial area, as the
Obama administration decided to extend Bolivia's suspension from tax
benefits of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act.

Former U.S. President Bush suspended Bolivia's benefits because he
said the South American country was not sufficiently helping the
fight against drug trafficking.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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