Things continue to deteriorate in Boliva. First, Evo’s government expels the U.S. ambassador – but at the same time sent a letter to Dept. of State indicating that Bolivia wants to “maintain bilateral relations.” Me thinks someone should explain to him what expelling an ambassador indicates. The eastern provinces are in basically full rebellion against the central governnment.
Both sides have all the rhetoric, but at the heart of this dispute is who controls one of South America’s largest natural gas reserves and the revenues that it generates. The US embassy has suggested citizens should leave if possible. There are symbolic, at this points, discussions going on but what they can achieve remains unclear.
Bolivia’s leftist president, Evo Morales, arrived at the hastily called summit having effectively lost control of half of his country. Anti-Morales protesters have blocked highways, taken over national government offices, closed border crossings and sabotaged pipelines, briefly forcing a cutoff of nearly half of Bolivia’s natural gas exports to Brazil.
Mr Morales says he wants to re-distribute Bolivia’s wealth and give a greater voice to the large indigenous community.