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Cablegate: Vp to "Inform" U.S. Congress of "Usaid Conspiracy"

VZCZCXRO6082
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLP #2407 2431956
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311956Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4861
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 7046
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4414
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8307
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5538
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2765
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2946
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4827
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5399
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0007
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0513
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002407

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR H - HAGEN, FOR DOL PASS TO ANA ASLAN, FOR MCC PASS TO
AMY KIRSCHENBAUM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON BL
SUBJECT: VP TO "INFORM" U.S. CONGRESS OF "USAID CONSPIRACY"

REF: A. LA PAZ 2357

B. LA PAZ 2387
C. LA PAZ 2400

- - - -
Summary
- - - -

1. (SBU) Summary. Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera
announced on August 30 that he will use his September 4-6
visit to the United States to inform the U.S. Congress and
the American people about how U.S. assistance is "used to
manipulate Bolivia's domestic politics and conspire against
the Morales government," arguing that he is certain that both
are simply unaware of the problem. Garcia Linera's comments
follow Government Minister Juan Ramon Quintana's inflammatory
press briefing on August 28 where he provided the
government's "evidence" that "substantiated" the President
and Vice President's recent series of false accusations
against USAID (refs A and B).

2. (SBU) Reeling from a backlash of criticism for the
government's outrageous attacks on USAID (ref C), the Vice
President has tried to assuage Bolivian business interests
that there will be no consequence from the government's
recent attacks on USAID and that it will not adversely affect
ATPDEA's extension prospects. Furthermore, as people have
questioned the substance of the attack on USAID, the
government has dug-in and tried to appear resolute and
confident in confronting the "empire." Garcia Linera is
clearly hoping that he can get someone on the Hill to say
that they will look into assistance to Bolivia so that he can
substantiate his claim that Washington does not know what
Embassy La Paz is doing in country.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Vice President's Statements
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (SBU) The Vice President explained that he did not think
that the Bolivian government's recent string of accusations
against the USG would have any negative consequence in terms
of U.S. assistance or trade benefits. Arguing that the U.S.
Congress is simply unaware of U.S. assistance programs Garcia
Linera stated, "I consider that when they (Congress and the
American people) have the documents, they will rethink and
revise their attitude about some (Embassy) intermediary
employees." The Vice President proceeded to argue that he
was "confident that the Congress and the American people will
understand our reasons." Referring to ATPDEA, the Vice
President stated, "ATPDEA does not have any reason to be at
risk, nor our commercial relations."

- - - -
Comment
- - - -

4. (SBU) The Vice President's latest public comments
regarding informing the U.S. Congress are meant for domestic
consumption. Many in the press and opposition have publicly
blasted the government for using the accusations against
USAID as a means of distracting the public from the
government's own problems. To suppress the criticism, Garcia
Linera had little choice but to state publicly that he will
make the government's case to the U.S. Congress. The
Bolivian government may be seeking to exploit differences
between our legislative and executive branches for its own
political gain. Garcia Linera will undoubtedly try to elicit
any comment he can from a member of Congress to substantiate
his government's patently false allegations. End Comment.
URS

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