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Viewing cable 08LAPAZ2458, BOLIVIA: BEFORE U.S. VISIT, EVO LASHES OUT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08LAPAZ2458 2008-11-18 13:01 2010-12-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2458/01 3231343
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181343Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9263
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 8557
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5916
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9880
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 7100
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 4148
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN 0902
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 4476
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 4316
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 5960
RUEHPO/AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO 0558
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 6765
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1540
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 1524
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L LA PAZ 002458 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SNAR BL
SUBJECT: BOLIVIA: BEFORE U.S. VISIT, EVO LASHES OUT 

REF: LA PAZ 2370 

Classified By: EcoPol Chief Mike Hammer for reasons 1.4 b,d 

1. (SBU) Summary: In the days before his November 16 
departure for the United States, where he will speak at the 
OAS and UN and meet with U.S. representatives (Dodd, Lugar, 
Baukus and possibly others), President Evo Morales and his 
closest cabinet advisors lashed out at a wide selection of 
USG targets, claiming that the USG has a strategy of 
supporting a united opposition front against Evo for the 
December 2009 elections. Following the November 1 expulsion 
of DEA, Government Minister Alfredo Rada described the DEA as 
"insignificant" and said, "the world will not end with the 
end of the presence of the DEA." Evo announced that he is 
"after the CIA" last week, and in a November 14 interview the 
state news agency ABI cited Presidency Minister Quintana as 
saying that the "civic prefectural conspiracy" was "fed by 
the empire (the United States), financed by organizations 
that originate in USAID, the CIA, and the DEA." Speaking from 
Venezuela, Quintana added MILGROUP to the mix, saying that 
state security fired on civilians in 2003 (during the riots 
that led to the fall of ex-President Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez 
de Lozada) because "no state security institution is not 
taught, indoctrinated, and intervened by the DEA, the CIA, 
and by MILGROUP." End summary. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Evo Accuses USG of Trying to Unite the Opposition 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

2. (SBU) At a November 15 rally in Cochabamba, Morales 
accused the USG of trying to help form an opposition "front" 
to oppose his next presidential run: "I am almost sure, 
sisters and brothers, that the next elections (December 2009 
if the draft constitution passes in January), all the right 
will unite on instructions from the Government of the United 
States." At the same time, Evo reiterated his allegations 
that USAID finances "the opposition". 

3. (SBU) Meanwhile, analysts are weighing in on the issue of 
a combined front against Evo, whether comprised solely of the 
"moderate left" (that is, the left without Evo's Movement 
Toward Socialism party) or united with less- conservative 
elements of what is now the conservative opposition party 
Podemos. Former president Carlos Mesa (an oft-mentioned 
contender for leader of the elusive non-Evo front) opined 
recently that "a single front (combining left and right) is 
not viable in the sense that there are very distinct 
ideological positions between which, eventually, there would 
be opposition, but this doesn't eliminate the possibility of 
a front..." 

4. (C) Comment: Evo's pre-emptive strike against a potential 
opposition front--aligning them without evidence with "the 
empire"--appears to be an effort to set the stage for 
discrediting anyone who runs against him as a U.S. stooge. 
As of now the opposition is far from united, with as many as 
seven potential presidential candidates: former president 
Carlos Mesa, former prefect Manfred Reyes Villa, Tarija 
Prefect Mario Cossio, Potosi Mayor Rene Joaquino, Unidad 
Nacional party leader Samuel Doria Medina, former president 
Tuto Quiroga and even indigenous guerrilla Felipe Quispe. It 
is hard to envision how this disparate group would come 
together, in fact, many of the strategists for potential 
candidates complain to us that other groups and leaders will 
not step aside for the good of the opposition as a whole. End 
comment. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Continued Accusations Against USG Agencies 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

5. (SBU) According to press reports, Minister of Presidency 
Juan Ramon Quintana met in Venezuela on November 14 to 
propose a multilateral "strategic alliance" of governments 
and academics to defend the process of revolutionary change. 
Quintana reminded his audience of Bolivia's recent "torturous 
civic prefectural conspiracy" which he claimed had been "fed 
by the empire (the United States), financed by organizations 
that originate in USAID, the CIA, and the DEA." Back in 
Bolivia, Minister of Government Alfredo Rada was also 
leveling accusations at USG agencies, claiming that the 
Bolivian government must deeply review the actions of 
agencies such as USAID and DEA: "it is a process that demands 
a more-global evaluation to take the decision to normalize 
this relation, and that means new rules of pay, transparency 
in relations and respect for sovereignty." Rada said that 
DEA was welcome to share information in the counternarcotics 
fight, but the DEA is mistaken if it thinks it can "continue 
in the country or will return to the country to continue 
diverting resources of the fight against drugs to work of 
political destabilization or political investigation--that 
can't continue." 

6. (SBU) Rada announced on November 16 that the Bolivian 
National Police who worked with DEA will be reviewed and 
those that might have worked "on the margin of the interests 
of the country" will be fired. Rada warned that if "the 
police acted as a foreign embassy in their own institution, 
there will be a separation of these people." He added, "If 
there are police who worked correctly, with good results, you 
can be secure that...they will be able to continue their 
work." 

7. (SBU) From Venezuela, Presidency Minister Quintana added 
new accusations against U.S. agencies, claiming that US 
agencies were behind the 2003 decision of the government of 
then-president Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada to fire on 
civilians. "They consummated the most repugnant genocide in 
Bolivia, which was the genocide of the year 2003, when 
Sanchez de Lozada was expelled from the country. In the face 
of a lack of moderation, in the face of the doubts of the 
high military command to massacre the comrades en El Alto, 
the Military Group (MILGROUP) occupied the highest levels of 
the armed forces and took the decision that the armed forces 
had to massacre the people of El Alto to liberate a caravan 
that had to supply the city of La Paz with fuel. Therefore, 
this is not indirect intervention, this is not interference, 
(it is) direct participation in the genocide of the year 
2003." (Note: Over 60 people were killed in clashes between 
followers of Evo Morales--who had blockaded the capital city 
of La Paz--and government forces. The Morales government has 
repeatedly accused Sanchez de Lozada of genocide and recently 
began processing papers to request the former president's 
extradition. End note.) 

8. (SBU) Following President Morales' November 11 statement 
that he and the government "are after the CIA too," Vice 
Minister of Social Movements Sacha Llorenti announced on 
November 17 that the presence of CIA agents is "prohibited" 
in Bolivia: "there exists no norm that would allow the 
presence of those agents in the national territory and to 
verify their presence in the country would be a grave action 
against our sovereignty." According to Llorenti, the 
government is investigating the possible presence of 
"external agents or of Bolivians who serve external 
agents....the government is decided, and in this there will 
be no step backwards, on the dignification of our country and 
of its institutions." 

- - - - 
Comment 
- - - - 

8. (C) Morales is already campaigning hard for both the 
constitution and his re-election, as can be seen by his 
standard attacks on the USG. His rhetorical attacks have now 
led to the expulsion of both the Ambassador and the DEA, and 
cannot be ignored as mere campaign stumping. USAID could be 
next, as there have been repeated high-level attacks and 
social-movement calls for its expulsion. Morales' new focus 
on Bolivian "co-conspirators" (either police working with the 
DEA or any political enemy Evo decides to describe as a CIA 
collaborator) will almost certainly instill fear among our 
contacts, who may become more cautious about meeting with us. 
His threat to expel the CIA from Bolivia means that any one 
of us can be (mis)identified as a spy and kicked out should 
we do--or be falsely accused of doing--anything that 
displeases Evo. End comment. 
URS