Search

 

Cablegate: Bolivian Press Reviews Closure of Usaid Programs

VZCZCXYZ0014
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #1333 2642107
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 212107Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1669
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 0020
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 6578
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0540
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 7745
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 4792
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 5130
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 0023
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0021
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 001333

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID PGOV BO
SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN PRESS REVIEWS CLOSURE OF USAID PROGRAMS

REF: LA PAZ 1239 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) Summary: Over the weekend of September 19-20, the
Bolivian press featured extensive coverage of the recent
closure of USAID democracy and public administration programs
(reftels), highlighting the concerns of Bolivians affected by
the cuts and prompting the GOB to articulate its interest in
a "new form of cooperation" with the U.S. Bolivian news
media featured a brief statement from the Embassy confirming
the termination of some programs at the request of the
Bolivian government and reiterating our commitment to the
bilateral dialogue now underway. End summary.

2. (SBU) Apparently contacted by USAID partners and aid
beneficiaries affected by the program closures, the Bolivian
news media gave broad coverage to the story, in some cases
providing detailed accounts of the programs under fire. The
La Paz daily "La Prensa" reported at length September 20 on
the concerns of municipal leaders about the impact of closing
USAID's integrated justice centers in their cities. The
GOB's action proved popular with cocalero groups, however,
who called for a further termination of all USAID programs in
the country.

3. (SBU) Bolivian government officials, including Planning
Minister Noel Aguirre (who in July and August conveyed the
original GOB demands for program closures) and Deputy Foreign
Minister Hugo Fernandez, confirmed that the Bolivian
government had requested the aid program terminations, but
sought to reassure the public that only "political" programs
would be affected. Aguirre explained that the GOB is seeking
a "redirection" of U.S. assistance priorities toward social
and economic needs, while Fernandez spoke of a "new form of
cooperation" to replace the existing aid relationship with
the United States. Both referred to the ongoing bilateral
talks, with Fernandez noting that U.S. officials (Special
Envoy Maria Echeveste and WHA DAS Chris McMullen) had met
recently with Foreign Minister Choquehuanca to further that
process.

4. (U) Bolivian news media carried the Embassy's brief
statement on the matter, which confirmed that we have taken
action in response to GOB requests and reaffirmed our
commitment to the bilateral dialogue on these and broader
issues.

5. (SBU) Comment: The news coverage of the USAID program
closures has been generally helpful so far, making clear that
the terminations have come at the request of the Bolivian
government, highlighting the value of the U.S. programs and
revealing a measure of GOB defensiveness in light of public
concerns about these and further aid cuts. Significantly,
senior GOB officials are now talking up the bilateral
process, just days after the September 15 de-certification
announcement, signaling that at least some in the Bolivian
government continue to back the effort.
CREAMER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>