(AP) – President Evo Morales acted on a longtime threat Wednesday and expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development for allegedly seeking to undermine Bolivia’s leftist government. Bolivia’s ABI state news agency said USAID was “accused of alleged political interference in peasant unions and other social organizations.”
In the past, Morales has accused the agency of funding groups that opposed his policies.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell called Morales’ allegations “baseless” and said the purpose of USAID programs in Bolivia has been, since they began in 1964, “to help the Bolivian government improve the lives of ordinary Bolivians” in full coordination with its agencies. He called the expulsion an example of the Morales administration’s lack of interest in a relationship “based on mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation.”