Tuesday, November 08, 2011

U.S.-Bolivian relations

Interesting announcement from the State Department regarding Bolivia and the restoration of normal diplomatic relations, which Bolivia expelled the ambassador and the DEA in 2008.

The "Framework Agreement for Mutually Respectful and Collaborative Bilateral Relations between the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the Government of the United States of America" outlines several critical areas for future collaboration between Bolivia and the United States. 
The Agreement’s objectives include strengthening and deepening bilateral relations, with respect for sovereign states and their territorial integrity; promoting human, economic, social, and cultural development in an environmentally sustainable manner; supporting cooperative and effective action against illicit narcotics production and trafficking, on the basis of shared responsibility; enhancing law enforcement cooperation; and strengthening the commercial relationships between Bolivia and the United States through the Trade and Investment Council.

Hard to tell what this will mean in practice and media reports are not any more helpful, but in one sense the specific details don't matter. It serves no useful purpose for the two countries to freeze each other out, and it is good to see quiet back channels working effectively. Breaking relations helped neither country, and so hopefully this is a step forward. For Bolivia's sake, I hope it will include once again being included in the ATPDEA.

I am waiting for accusations that the Obama Administration is aiding terrorists because Iranians dressed like Aymara are going to sneak across the border and bomb Arizona. You heard it here first.


ConsDemo 11:02 PM  

It may be a good thing for the average Bolivian who wants US commerce. However, having an American ambassador in their countries merely gives Evo Morales (and Hugo Chavez) excuses to expel them the next time they are "outraged" by some American "plot" to depose them.

mabb,  9:08 AM  

I noticed they forgot to mention the part where they agree to include the return of Bolivia to the ATPDEA machanism and the extradition of Mr. Sanchez de Lozada. At least, that is what the Bolivian government is saying the agreement is about.

Greg Weeks 9:56 AM  

Which is even more misleading because Obama doesn't have the authority to do anything about the ATPDEA--it's up to Congress.

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