Anti-imperialism schooling now a must for Bolivian officers

Good leadership skills won't be enough for Bolivian officers seeking promotion to the rank of captain in any branch of the South American nation's military. They must now add ideological schooling.

President Evo Morales inaugurated the Anti-Imperialist Command School on Wednesday near the eastern city of Santa Cruz.

The academy previously trained soldiers for U.N. peacekeeping. Now, it will aim to counter U.S. influence, a mission that Bolivian opposition leaders call an illegitimate political tainting of the armed forces.

On the curriculum is a semester-long course required for advancement that will initially be taught by an Argentine Marxist.

The school was initially inaugurated in 2011 as a hoped-for training center for members of a now-weakened regional alliance known by its Spanish initials ALBA that includes Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba.