In 2010, United States Army “whistleblower” Chelsea Manning leaked a massive “data dump” to WikiLeaks that included classified and sensitive military documents. Part of the information she unlawfully leaked included a number of military cables that allegedly reveal an apparent plot by the U.S. government to destroy the Bolivian government - either by assisting a coup or by assassinating Bolivian President Evo Morales.
These particular cables were published late this summer in “The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire.” Several journalists contributed to the publication including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The publication presented analysis of the cables leaked in 2010.
Part of the book discusses the “the day-to-day mechanics of Washington’s political intervention in Latin America.” Also discussed is the alleged United States plot to create a coup or simply assassinate Morales. The plan by the U.S. was supposedly developed after years of Morales’ resistance to the United States’ “Latin American agenda.”
TeleSUR, a Latin American television network, reported last week that the Bolivian government is conducting an investigation into the claims despite statements by United States to the contrary. “In a strongly worded statement the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia said, ‘The government of the United States was not involved in any conspiracy, attempt to overthrow the government of Bolivia or assassinate President Morales. This kind of unfounded allegations does not contribute to improving bilateral relations.”
Contrary to these denials, the WikiLeaks cables supposedly illustrate that the United States applied pressure to the Morales administration to allow the U.S. to conduct its activities in the country. Morales resisted strong suggestions by the U.S. and he continued to nationalize the fossil fuels industry thereby reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil and international loans.
The cables go so far as to suggest that beginning in 2007, The United States government began providing assistance to the country’s rebel organization, “Media Luna.” “A USAID report from 2007 stated that its Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) ‘ha[d] approved 101 grants for $4,066,131 to help departmental governments operate more strategically.’ Funds also went to local indigenous groups that were ‘opposed to Evo Morales’ vision for indigenous communities.’”
One year later, the Media Luna residents rebelled against the Morales administration in fights that led to 20 deaths. A coup seemed likely and the rebels had the support of the United States. “[T]he United States was in regular communication with the leaders of the separatist opposition movement, even as they spoke openly of ‘blow[ing] up gas lines’ and ‘violence as a probability to force the government to . . . take seriously any dialogue.”
The United States supported Morales in public but the cables seem to indicate otherwise. TeleSur noted that, “Relations between the U.S. and Bolivia have been strained since 2009, when President Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador from the country for supporting [an] opposition-led conspiracy against him.”