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Bolivia's president says he remains afraid of U.S. plot

By the CNN Wire Staff
Bolivian President Evo Morales says he's worried the U.S. will plant something on his plane to link him with drug trafficking.
Bolivian President Evo Morales says he's worried the U.S. will plant something on his plane to link him with drug trafficking.
  • President Evo Morales first described his fears at a conference over the weekend
  • He repeats his concerns in an interview with CNN en Español
  • Morales: "The United States ... has all the experience of creating setups"
  • "When presidents do not submit to the U.S. government ... there are coups," he says

(CNN) -- Bolivia's president told CNN en Español Wednesday that he remains afraid that the United States government is plotting against him.

"The United States, as a global power, has all the experience of creating setups," President Evo Morales said.

Over the weekend, Morales said he was worried U.S. authorities would plant something on his presidential plane while he attended the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

"They are preparing something to discredit us with drug trafficking," he told a convention of female farm workers in Bolivia Sunday.

Morales stood by those comments when he spoke with CNN en Español from New York City after attending Wednesday's U.N. meeting.

He said agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration had pursued him when he was a union leader, and that U.S. authorities still want to link him with drug trafficking and discredit his government.

"When presidents do not submit to the United States government, to its policies, there are coups," he said.

The U.S. Embassy in La Paz declined to comment on Morales' assertions, and a U.S. State Department spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bolivia and the United States have had diminished relations since September 2008, when each country expelled the other's ambassador. Morales, a strong proponent of the cultivation of coca plants -- the source of cocaine -- expelled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration a month later. He also delivered a strong verbal criticism of the U.S. government at the United Nations General Assembly that year.

Morales said Wednesday that he did not regret his decision to expel the U.S. ambassador for allegedly conspiring against his government.

The U.S. government rejected that accusation as "baseless," according to a statement about Bolivia on the U.S. State Department's website.

"President Morales never offered proof for his accusation," the State Department said.

"(The U.S. ambassador) had meetings with the opposition," Morales said Wednesday, and noted that U.S. officials in Bolivia had tried to stop his government from forming alliances or agreements with Cuba, Iran and Venezuela.

He referred to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as his "anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, revolutionary brother."

Morales said Chavez, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, sounded strong when the two leaders spoke over the phone Tuesday.

"I would say that he has already recuperated, listening to his voice. It left me very happy," Morales said.

Morales is scheduled to head to Peru Thursday for the inauguration of Peruvian President-Elect Ollanta Humala.

CNN en Español's Glenda Umana contributed to this report.