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September 18, 2012

USAID gets the boot from Russia could Latin America follow suit?

So the US Department of State confirmed today that the US Agency for International Development is getting booted from Russia.

Here's Reuters take on it: Analysts said they believed the Russian decision partly reflected Moscow's hostility toward US-funded groups that seek to promote democracy and the rule of law in Russia.

What does this have to do with Latin America? Well, in theory, a few Latin American nations are mulling getting rid of USAID also. 

In June, the political council of the eight-nation ALBA bloc of countries, led by Venezuela, asked members to “immediately expel” USAID, accusing it of “destabilizing our legitimate governments.”

In July, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, who may run for re-election in February, warned supporters that USAID was fueling the opposition by pumping millions into “democracy strengthening” projects.

Correa said he’s writing up new rules for USAID.

“If they don’t want to follow them, then ‘So long,’” he said. “Go help some other country.”

So far, none of the nations have followed through on the threat and Ecuador has yet to announce its new guidelines. But it will be interesting to see if the Russian move is the begin of....

 Read the full story about the Latam fracas here.

And you can read the State Department's statement here.

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Comments

Luke Weyland

IF USAID was only about the US providing aid - no nation of earth would oppose it.
However USAID is often about aiding the US administration to intervening in other nations' affairs.

Scooby

too true Luke

DON FROM CANADA

Luke: I'm sure the whole world knows enough to watch out for the misnamed "USAID", by now. If they don't, they should.

notanagitator

USAID is about US/global corporate interests being involved in the affairs of other countries.

We'd have far fewer problems in the world if our government policies were for American citizens, instead of on behalf of greedy global corporations and certain other countries.

Chris the Home Contractor

@Scooby - I think you may have missed the point with his comment.

It's true that aide is provided but to what extent and how often may be an ever better question.

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jim wyss

Inside South America is written by Jim Wyss, the South America bureau chief for the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers.

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