Consequently, the critics argue, Morales should let the U.S. counter-drug agency back onto Bolivian soil.
Morales, though, is steadfast in his refusal to change course on that front, given the reasons for making that decision in the first place seem to remain valid concerns in his mind.
"Morales [in 2008] accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of espionage and funding "criminal groups" trying to undermine his government,” states a 2008 AP story.
A more recent Associated Press story, published this past Friday, states that the former commander of Bolvia's anti-narcotics police force, Sanabria, was detained in late February of this year in Panama, along with co-conspirator Marcelo Foronda, and both were subsequently deported to the United States. Sanabria, who at the time of his arrest was serving as an intelligence advisor to Morales' government, was the target of a DEA cocaine-trafficking sting that had been ongoing for some two years, a Wall Street Journal story reports.
The undercover DEA operation was undertaken without the approval or knowledge of the Bolivian government, according to an unnamed official quoted in the AP article.
“The official would not say whether the U.S. had information to suggest corruption in Morales' administration reached higher than Sanabria,” the AP reports.
Seemingly implied by the statement above as one possible conspiracy theory is that Morales’ administration may be corrupt to its core, and Morales (the former head of the indigenous coca-growers union in Bolivia, where the coca leaf is considered sacred and chewing it an ancient tradition) is either a clueless dupe or himself involved deeply in narco-trafficking — despite Morales' professed policy of having zero tolerance for cocaine trafficking.
Or could another possbile scenario be in play here, as Morales seems to be suggesting?
Could Sanabria's arrest instead be evidence of another "cocaine coup" in the making? Might that be the message Morales is sending by displaying Levine’s book for the world to see in the wake of the arrest of Bolivia's counternarcotics chief?
That conspiracy theory might sound outlandish to some. But then history isn't a subject everyone is equally comfortable embracing.
From an essay written by Levine that discusses the "cocaine coup" in Bolivia:
On July 17, 1980, for the first time in history, drug traffickers actually took control of a nation. It was not just any nation, it was Bolivia, at the time the source of virtually 100 percent of the cocaine entering the United States. The “Cocaine Coup” was the bloodiest in Bolivia’s history. It came at a time that the US demand for cocaine was skyrocketing to the point that, in order to satisfy it, suppliers had to consolidate raw materials and production and get rid of inefficient producers. Its result was the creation of what came to be known as La Corporacion — The Corporation — in essence, the General Motors or OPEC of Cocaine.
Immediately after the coup production of cocaine increased massively until, in short order, it outstripped supply. It was the true beginning of the cocaine and crack “plague” as the media and hack politicians never tire of calling it. July 17, 1980 is truly a day that should live in equal infamy along with December 7th, 1941. There are few events in history that have caused more and longer lasting damage to our nation.
What America was never told, in spite of mainstream media having the information and a prime, inside source who was ready to go public with the story, was that the coup was carried out with the aid and participation of Central Intelligence. The source would also testify and prove that, in order to carry out that coup, the CIA, State and Justice departments had to combine forces to protect their drug dealing assets by destroying a DEA investigation—US v Roberto Suarez, et al. How do I know? I was that inside source.
Sanabria’s case is now pending in federal court in Miami, where earlier this week he pled not guilty to the charges against him, according to media reports.
Whatever the course of Sanabria’s case, it seems clear that Bolivia is once again in the thick of drug-war intrigue in which the truth is always illusive and the “Big White Lie” often right in front of our faces.
UPDATE, March 6; 5:10 pm Eastern
Former DEA Agent Confirms U.S. Spy Agency Backed Bolivia’s “Cocaine Coup”
Author Mike Levine, a former deep-cover DEA agent who served in Latin America, has just issued a statement in reaction to Bolivian President Evo Morales’ decision to display the Spanish version of “The Big White Lie” at a press event held earlier this week in Bolivia.
Levine’s “The Big White Lie” exposes the CIA’s alleged complicity in the drug trade, including its role in the 1980 “cocaine coup” in Bolivia. That narco-putsch replaced Bolivia’s leftist interim president, Lidia Gueller Tejada (the only woman to ever serve as president of Bolivia), with a ruling junta “comprised of expatriate Nazis like Klaus Barbie and drug dealers like Roberto Suarez and … it was CIA directed and US taxpayer dollars [put] these guys in power,” Levine writes in an essay.
Following are a few excerpts from Levine’s press statement, released within that last hour. The entire press release can be found at this link.
On 3/3/11, President Evo Morales vowing that DEA would not be permitted to enter Bolivia, cited the book, La Guerra Falsa (The Big White Lie) as proof of CIA’S use of the War on Drugs to manipulate his and other governments.
When Bolivian president Evo Morales held up the book "La Guerra Falsa" (The Big White Lie) by Michael Levine for the photo that would rocket around the world, claiming that it was proof of DEA and CIA protecting the biggest drug traffickers in the world and using the drug war to manipulate, control and even overthrow governments, he was wrong about one thing: "The Big White Lie" does not blame DEA; it lays the blame exclusively on CIA. [Emphasis added.]
… From author's Introduction of The Big White Lie:
"In these pages I will lead you through the deep cover odyssey that I lived for six years. You will hear the words I heard, witness what I and others did, and learn the real reasons behind our cocaine and crack epidemic — the ones your elected representatives hid from you in secret sessions behind closed doors and a misuse of the secrecy laws that must have had our founding fathers twisting in their graves.
"I will give you a fly-on-the-wall look at how the CIA perverts the American justice system by protecting drug dealers and murderers from prosecution; at how even federal judges and prosecutors alleged to have violated narcotic laws were protected from investigation; at how a beautiful South American woman called 'the Queen of Cocaine,' by Pablo Escobar, responsible for shipping more cocaine into the United States than any one person I had ever known, was able to seduce the CIA into destroying her competitors, protecting her from prosecution, and paying her a small fortune in taxpayer dollars for her 'services'; at how the only ruling government of Bolivia that ever wanted to help DEA defeat their drug barons was paid for its faith in our sincerity with torture and death at the hands of CIA-sponsored paramilitary terrorists under the command of fugitive Nazi war criminals. And finally, you will realize, as I did, the ultimate betrayal of America; how, without the CIA's protection and support the resultant crack/cocaine epidemic might never have occurred.
"Without further ado, enter the inner sanctum of the biggest, whitest, deadliest lie of them all: the war on drugs."