MAS Plans Expulsion of USAID
This Wednesday the Movement to Socialism senators and legislators will debate whether to expell the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). MAS senator Fidel Surco said, ¨There will be an analysis and evaluation to see whether it´s correct to expell USAID. US-Aid keeps operating in our country against the government and against certain sectors by using some of their leaders.¨ Ex-government minister Juan Ramón Quintana said last weekend that after MAS dismanteled the ¨neo-liberal narco-state¨that existed before their arrival in 2005 expelled the DEA anti-drug police, they should do the same with USAID and the marines that guard the US embassy. ¨The DEA is not the only organization that conducts acts of political subversion. There must be more security agencies in the US. USAID is one of the spinal vertebrae of their political work in Bolivia and the region, through their foundations, whose objective is political subversion, which is to say, to erode and deteriorate the image, prestige and solidity of governments which are making enormous efforts to execute the authority of the state. Quintana went on the accuse USAID and certain NGO´s of trying to divide Bolivian society and decrease the government´s legitimacy among the social sectors. The opposition leader Bernardo Gutiérrez of the PPB-Convergencia Nacional party, argued that Venezuela and Cuba are doing the same thing in Bolivia and ought to be expelled. Gutiérrez also asked on what authority Quintana made these accusations since he was no longer a government minister. ¨If he (Quintana) makes these accusations as a private person that´s one thing, but if he´s speaking on behalf of the government he has to present proof of these accusations,¨ said Gutiérrez.
USAID has not responded to these allegations. Their website states that from 1999 to 2009, more than 8,700 kilometers of roads in the Cochabamba Tropics and Yungas of La Paz were maintained or improved and 205 bridges were built with USAID assistance through a contract with a Government of Bolivia institution. Since 2001, USAID has worked with more than 50,000 farmer families in the Valleys and Altiplano regions to improve production of onions, chili peppers, peanuts, oregano, and other products. USAID’s support has led to $25 million in new sales, and these farmers increased their incomes on average by 50%.
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