US ambassador faces eviction from Bolivia: apologize or else

La Paz, 17/10/07 - The Bolivian government Tuesday threatened to evict the US ambassador as a "persona non grata" unless he apologizes for a satirical remark about moving Walt Disney's headquarters somewhere else than the US. Philip Goldberg, the US official, got himself into hot water with a joke after Bolivia's left-wing nationalist President Evo Morales called for the United Nations headquarters to be moved out of New York.

Goldberg quipped that according to that reasoning, it would not seem "strange" if Bolivia also wanted to move Walt Disney's organization out of the US.

The threat to declare Goldberg an "undesirable" came from Juan Ramon Quintana, minister of the Bolivian Presidency, who was in Santa Cruz de la Sierra on Tuesday.

"If the ambassador does not apologize for his offensive declarations, he could be declared persona non grata," Quintana told journalists.

Under reciprocity agreements, Bolivia's ambassador to the US, Gustavo Guzman, would have to return to the US until US President George W Bush names another ambassador, Bolivian officials said.

The Andean country is already steaming over recent problems Morales had entering the US to attend events at the United Nations.

Morales' and his team were barred in New York from leaving their plane - a Venezuelan aircraft - for one and a half hours.

Their treatment was "intolerable, arrogant and humiliating," Quintana said.

Republished from Earth Times


Anonymous said...

I actually thought that Goldberg's comment was very revealing of his attitude towards the U.N. (It's as American as Disney, and just about as consequential.)

jbowen43 said...

This is just another example of the childish behavior we have come to expect from Bush and his minions. No one of them has any desire to see real democracy anywhere in the world.

Anonymous said...

I heard from an inside source that the reason their plane was detained is that the Venezuelan pilots changed their flight plan at the last minute and didn´t inform the US aviation about this. After 911 no one can just change their flight planes whenever they want!