U.S. Is the 'Real Threat to World Security and Peace,' Says Bolivian President

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Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, on October 23. Reuters

President Donald Trump and Americans may see North Korea and the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) as some of the biggest threats to world peace and security, but to Bolivia's president, the real global threat is Trump's America.

At the handover of a building that housed the former United States Agency for International Development headquarters over to the Bolivian Armed Forces, the country's President Evo Morales called the U.S. government the "real threat to world security and peace" because it has refused to ratify international human rights and environmental treaties, teleSur reported. Morales in a tweet about the handover event Tuesday said the USAID arrived in Bolivia in 1964 "to maintain colonial political domination and subjugation."

He also described the sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Venezuela as "new threats" and urged some countries in Europe to "not make the same mistake of punishing" the politically unstable country. The U.S. Department of the Treasury placed sanctions Thursday on 10 additional Venezuelan officials it deemed complicit with Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's attempts to undermine democracy.

"As the Venezuelan government continues to disregard the will of its people, our message remains clear: the United States will not stand aside while the Maduro regime continues to destroy democratic order and prosperity in Venezuela," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Morales criticized South American countries, including Brazil, Colombia and Peru, for allowing and participating in U.S. armed forces' weeklong military exercise in the Brazilian Amazon that began on November 6.

"The armed forces that do joint exercises with the United States are deceiving their people," Morales said. He told his country's military to stay on the alert to defend the sovereignty of Bolivia and all of Latin America.

Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Bolivia were suspended in 2008 after Morales accused a U.S. ambassador to Bolivia of masterminding opposition protests. In response, the United Nations expelled the Bolivian ambassador to the U.S.

Morales, a leftist, expressed interest in improving ties in 2015 and 2016, and on Trump's Inauguration Day tweeted, "We hope to restore the relations with the new U.S. government, to exchange ambassadors, respecting the sovereignty and dignity of our nations." At the time, Morales said he hoped that the Trump administration would refrain from planting U.S. military bases abroad and stop intervening into the affairs of other countries.

As that hasn't materialized, the relationship has once again soured. "Threats (from the U.S.) will continue," Morales said this week. "We have shown that without interference, without military bases, it's possible to free ourselves."

U.S. Is the 'Real Threat to World Security and Peace,' Says Bolivian President | World