The U.S. has refuted reports that it planned to topple the government of Bolivia.
The controversy started after a report surfaced on WikiLeaks that the U.S. government had plotted an assassination attempt against President Evo Morales in 2008.
A representative described the WikiLeaks accusations as "absolutely false and absurd."
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," said a spokesperson.
Despite the denials, the Bolivian government announced it is pressing ahead with a thorough investigation.
A government minister revealed new information from the WikiLeaks report on state television on Tuesday morning.
Carlos Romero reported meetings took place between leaders of the opposition with representatives of the U.S. Embassy between 2007 and 2008. Romero told TV Bolivia the revelations show "categorical" U.S. involvement in the coordination of "conspiracy theories" against the government of Evo Morales.
According to Romero the contents of the now revealed cables were sent from the embassy in La Paz to the State Department in Washington.
This is just another chapter in the long running saga between the two countries.
Last month another senior Minister Juan Ramon Quintana alleged that a more recent U.S. sting operation was underway in Bolivia in an attempt to discredit President Evo Morales. The allegation alluded to the possibility that Morales was somehow involved in drug trafficking.
"A covert operation is underway to target President Evo Morales, which is not only funded but also coordinated and organized by intelligence agencies and U.S. security," Quintana said on Sept. 20.
The ‘’agencies’’ Quintana is referring to is the Drug Enforcement Administration which President Morales expelled from Bolivia in 2008 along with the then U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg.
Since then Bolivia and the U.S have been on a collision course over the best way to deal with the war on drugs. Bolivia says it is scoring notable victories against drug traffickers without any U.S. funding. The U.S. claims Bolivia is not doing enough and wants to prevent Bolivians from growing the traditional coca plant – the only country in the world granted an exemption.
Bolivia has repeatedly refused to back down and stop farmers growing coca, which has been used for centuries by Indigenous communities to brew a local tea and is used for a variety of medicines.
The division between the two nations has only deepened in recent years, but a slight thaw could be on the horizon.
At a ceremony on Monday to decorate six Cuban fighters President Morales publicly acknowledged that having a U.S. ambassador return to Bolivia is ‘’desirable’’ but not ‘’decisive’’ to helping improve relations between Washington and La Paz.
Some interpreted this as a step towards healing the rift, but given the strong sentiments coming from Morales’ administration over the latest WikiLeaks revelations others say it could be years before normal relations are restored.
‘’The relationship between the U.S. and Bolivia couldn’t be any further apart’’ says Franklyn Pareja a political analyst. ‘’They are opposed on almost everything, the ideology of the Bolivian government is anti-imperialist , anti-capitalist and for the Bolivian people the icon for imperialism and anti-capitalism is the United States,’’ he told teleSUR English.
With Morales seeking to stay on in office until at least 2025, political observers in Bolivia expect no change in the tone or rhetoric of the increasingly hostile exchanges between La Paz and Washington.