U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release September 12, 2008
Statement by Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Expulsion of U.S. Ambassadors to Venezuela and Bolivia
We regret the actions of both President Hugo Chavez and President Evo Morales to expel our ambassadors in Venezuela and Bolivia. This reflects the weakness and desperation of these leaders as they face serious internal challenges and an inability to communicate effectively internationally in order to build international support.
The charges leveled against our fine ambassadors by the leaders of Bolivia and Venezuela are false – and the leaders of those countries know it. The only meaningful conspiracy in the region is the common commitment of democratic countries to enhance opportunities for their citizens. The only overthrow we seek is that of poverty.
As is well known in the region, we continue to focus on our larger positive agenda for the hemisphere, which we call a social justice agenda for the hemisphere. The values that we and our democratic friends favor are carrying the day in the hemisphere. Governments from center-left to center-right are implementing pragmatic policies designed to help their citizens prosper in a globalized economy. These policies are favored by the vast majority of people in the hemisphere. No country has ever improved the well-being of its citizens by antagonizing neighbors and refraining from fruitful integration with the world’s democracies.
Those who shout the loudest are not making the real news in the Americas. The real story of our time is the quiet, evolutionary change promoted by pragmatic governments and their constituencies who want to improve the lives of their citizens. Those changes will not occur over night, and we still have work to be done. But we are on the right path, and will continue to work with our democratic partners to better the lives of our citizens.
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