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Bolivian president accuses U.S. of conspiracy
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13:10, November 19, 2007

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The relationship between Bolivia and the United States turned worse on Sunday after Bolivia's President Evo Morales accused the U.S. ambassador of conspiring against his government.

The U.S. ambassador Phillip Goldberg "aimed to be a counterweight to this government and erode its legitimacy," Morales told reporters Sunday, calling on the U.S. government to practice diplomacy instead of politics.

Morales cited a photo of Goldberg with John Jairo Venegas, a Colombian citizen accused of crimes, and a leading opposition figure from the southern Bolivia department of Santa Cruz, during a business expo.

The photo, published last week by Spanish news agency EFE, was claimed by the United States to be a montage.

Diplomatic ties between the United States and Bolivia have frayed since Morales, a leftwing indigenous former coca farmer, took power last year.

Last month Goldberg was forced to apologize to the Bolivian government after he mocked a suggestion by Morales that the U.N. headquarters be moved away from New York as Bolivian officials had difficulty entering the United States to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Goldberg joked that Morales may also want to move the Walt Disney headquarters, triggering a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

Source: Xinhua

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