Bolivia expels USAID on May Day, 'nationalises its dignity'

Bolivian Presidnt Evo Morales at a May Day march in La Paz, May 1.

Bolivian President Evo Morales told a May Day demonstration in La Paz that his government would expel the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the BBC said that day.

The US government-funded agency provides funds and training to groups around the world that support US interests. In countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela, USAID has funded groups involved in bids to bring down elected governments.

The BBC said Morales accused the agency of seeking to "conspire against" the Bolivian people and his government. It said USAID has been working in Bolivia for almost five decades, and had a budget of US$52.1 million for the country in 2010, according to its website.

The BBC pointed out that on previous May Days, "Mr Morales had announced the nationalisation of key industries, such as hydroelectric power and the electricity grid". But this year, Morales said he "would only nationalise the dignity of the Bolivian people".

Speaking at a rally in La Paz, Morales said there was "no lack of US institutions which continue to conspire against our people and especially the national government, which is why we're going to take the opportunity to announce on this May Day that we've decided to expel USAID".

Morales explained that the expulsion was in protest at a recent remark by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who referred to Latin America as "the backyard of the United States".

[For more information on Bolivia and the struggle of its people for social justice and national liberation, visit Bolivia Rising.]

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Bolivia expels USAID on May Day, 'nationalises its dignity'
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