Bolivia Expels US Ambassador

Blames America for unrest
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Sep 11, 2008 7:55 AM CDT
Opponents of Bolivia's President Evo Morales ride on a vehicle during a protest in Santa Cruz Bolivia,Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008.    (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Bolivian President Evo Morales ordered the US ambassador to his country to leave immediately, blaming America for unrest gripping his nation, Reuters reports. “The ambassador of the United States is conspiring against democracy and wants Bolivia to break apart,” he declared. Protesters have occupied buildings, shut down gas fields, and yesterday blew up a pipeline, raging against Morales’ plans to redistribute wealth from Bolivia’s energy-rich regions.

Protesters have also stormed tax offices, TV stations, and telecoms, disrupting phone service and diesel shipments throughout the Eastern Lowlands. Morales’ relations with the US have cooled as he embraces Hugo Chavez, who blames the US for trying to unseat him as well. “The same thing is happening in Bolivia,” said Chavez. “It’s the imperial aggressor, the genocidal US empire.”