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Viewing cable 08LAPAZ2670, MORALES BASHES GOLDBERG PINATA ONE MORE TIME

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08LAPAZ2670 2008-12-31 16:04 2010-12-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
VZCZCXYZ0008
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2670 3661641
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311641Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9617
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 8690
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 6050
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0013
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 7235
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 4281
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0293
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 4614
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6043
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 6898
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1676
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 1572
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L LA PAZ 002670 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/01/2019 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PREL PINR OPDC OPRC BL
SUBJECT: MORALES BASHES GOLDBERG PINATA ONE MORE TIME 

Classified By: Acting EcoPol Chief Brian Quigley for reasons 1.4 (b, d) 

1. (C) Summary: Meeting with cabinet on December 30 to 
evaluate his third year in office, Bolivian President Evo 
Morales justified once again his decision to expel Ambassador 
Philip S. Goldberg. Morales noted that with the departure of 
Ambassador Goldberg, the political opposition had "bottomed 
out," and concluded that Goldberg was "clearly commanding the 
conspiracy against democracy" in Bolivia. Morales went on to 
praise Bolivia's efforts against narco-trafficking, calling 
Bolivia the "most outstanding country in Latin America" in 
the fight against drugs. Nevertheless, Morales restated his 
hope that bilateral relations would improve under 
President-elect Obama. Post questions Morales' logic, but 
understands that in the face of declining natural gas prices 
and corruption scandals within his administration, Morales 
needs to distract domestic attention by using the U.S. as his 
strawman once again. End summary. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

2. (U) In a year-end meeting December 30 to evaluate his 
third year in office, President Evo Morales took time to 
validate and celebrate his decision on September 11 to expel 
Ambassador Philip Goldberg, whom he accused of leading a 
conspiracy to topple the Morales regime. "After suffering 
that attack of the (political) right, of the empire, I was 
not wrong in that moment when I decided the Ambassador had to 
leave. The Ambassador leaves, the opposition bottoms out -- 
clearly someone was commanding the conspiracy against 
democracy, even against the national government itself." 

3. (U) Morales went on to accuse the Bush administration of 
violating its international commitments in the fight against 
narco-trafficking, saying Bolivia "is the most outstanding 
country in Latin America in the fight against drug 
trafficking." Local press reports and even the government's 
own media service noted that the precipitous fall in 
relations had been exacerbated by Morales' "personal 
decision" to suspend Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 
activities in the country. The official media service went a 
step further, adding that Morales also suspended CIA 
activity, and that the U.S. brought the suspension on itself 
by "meddling in internal affairs." Despite his attacks on 
Ambassador Goldberg, the Bush administration, and the "empire 
of the north" generally, Morales was quick to state once 
again that bilateral relations would be re-evaluated once 
President-elect Obama was in office. 

- - - - 
Comment 
- - - - 

4. (C) True to form, Morales' mention of declaring Ambassador 
Goldberg persona non grata grabbed media attention and 
distracted focus from more pressing matters, including the 
Quintana corruption scandal, the falling price of natural gas 
(and with it the possible reduction of Morales' popular Renta 
Dignidad program), and his recent admission that some 
cocaleros are selling their coca to be processed into 
cocaine. As illogical as Morales' diatribes arguments are, 
as long as he can get mileage out of such attacks, the 
administration will continue to spread its vitriol. 
LAMBERT