WASHINGTON – President Bush has determined that Bolivia is no longer cooperating in the war against drugs and has placed the Latin American country on a counter-narcotics blacklist that could result in aid cuts.
Officials say Bolivia, a major cocaine producer, will join Venezuela and Myanmar on a U.S. list of nations that have failed demonstrably to meet their international commitments to combatting the production and trafficking of illicit drugs.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal White House announcement of the conclusion later Tuesday.
The State Department is also organizing at least two evacuation flights for Americans who want to leave Bolivia amid widespread and worsening political unrest there.
Officials in Washington and at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz say the flights will leave Bolivia on Wednesday for neighboring Peru. The move comes as relations between the United States and Bolivia have plummeted in the past week, with each country expelling the other's ambassador and increasing U.S. criticism of Bolivia's drug-fighting efforts.
Last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration was forced to move its operations from one of Bolivia's largest coca-producing areas for security reasons. And on Monday, the Peace Corps withdrew all of its volunteers from Bolivia.