BBC News reports Bolivian president Evo Morales has expelled US diplomat Francisco Martinez, a political officer at the US embassy in La Paz, for having ties to violent opposition groups. This comes only six months after he expelled US ambassador Philip Goldberg for "conspiring against democracy" and encouraging Bolivia's break-up. "Today, I've decided to declare Francisco Martinez... persona non grata," Morales said at a press conference in La Paz. “Deep investigations" had determined that the US embassy's second secretary had been "in permanent contact with opposition groups."
The expulsion was, he said, a move to "put an end to a foreign conspiracy." Morales accused Martinez of “coordinating contacts” with a Bolivian police officer who he believes infiltrated the state oil company YPFB on behalf of the CIA.
The United States government, however, insists these accusations against Martinez have no merit. "We can't understand how the president can assure us that he wants better relations with the United States and at the same time continue to make false accusations," said US embassy spokeswoman Denise Urs.