Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

U.S.-Bolivian Relations Move Closer Toward Normalization



At a press conference yesterday, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca spoke of diplomatic relations between the United States and Bolivia, announcing that the two countries have negotiated “a new framework of mutual respect,” which is expected to be signed in La Paz, Bolivia, at the end of the month. Choquehuanca did not indicate any plans to reinstate their ambassadors, but said they are working on “issues related to political dialogue, trade, the fight against drug trafficking, and cooperation.”

Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strained since Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg last September on charges of conspiracy. The United States responded by ousting Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzmán the next day.

Under the auspices of the U.S.-Bolivia Dialogue, the two countries met in La Paz in May and in Washington DC last week. The Bolivian delegation is led by Foreign Minister Choquehuanca and Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero heads the U.S. talks with Bolivia. A few days after last week’s Washington meeting, President Morales commented that he hopes the two countries can come to an agreement, but the new relations will happen “if there is cooperation from State to State, and if embassies complete their work diplomatically and not politically.”  

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