As a coca growers’ union leader before his 2005 election, Morales said he was “personally a victim” because US agents controlled Bolivia‘s military and police.
Bolivia’s anti-narcotics police, working closely with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), often clashed with coca growers and Morales has said they once beat him unconscious.
“They repressed us in Bolivia. That has ended,” Morales said.
“For the first time since Bolivia was founded, the United States will now respect Bolivia’s rules and laws,” he added, under the agreement restoring full diplomatic ties that Bolivia and Washington signed on Monday.
The deal comes three years after the Andean nation’s leftist government expelled the US ambassador and DEA for allegedly inciting the opposition.
The pact calls for the restoration of ambassadors as soon as possible and close co-operation in counter narcotics, trade and development, said a US official familiar with the agreement.
Morales said that he still considered the ambassador he expelled in September 2008, Philip Goldberg, to have been “a conspirator”. Less than two months later, he ejected the DEA.
Washington denies the Bolivian government’s allegations that Goldberg schemed with lowlands agribusiness people to unseat Morales, an Aymara Indian raised in the country’s poor highlands.
- Bolivian Pres.: U.S. Drug Agents Not Welcome (foxnews.com)