What is the U.S.
plotting in Bolivia?
Hugo Moldiz Mercado
In a tactical shift toward Bolivia,
the U.S. State Department has sent Jefferson Brown
to the country, indicating a likely increase in
subversive activity against the Morales government.
He was apparently sent to clean house, and replace
all embassy personnel in preparation for the July
arrival of a new attaché, Peter Brennan, an uncommon
It appears that the White House has
decided to make a turn - for the worse - in its
relations with Bolivia. After removing Larry Memmott,
considered a dove in U.S. secret services circles,
the State Department has sent Jefferson Brown, as
interim business attaché, who will remain on the job
only through June, before handing over the position
to the much more experienced hawk, Peter Brennan.
Changes at the U.S. embassy in La
Paz are not limited to replacing the business
attaché, the highest ranking official present in the
country since President Evo Morales expelled
Ambassador Philip Golberg in 2008, for engaging in
subversive activity in conjunction with hard-line
opposition forces in the city of Santa Cruz. All
indications point toward the replacement of the
entire staff, giving greater weight to secret
services and an increase in efforts to destabilize
the Morales government, within the framework of a
Brown arrived in Bolivia April 23,
immediately after he was appointed.
According to reliable sources linked
to the State Department, greater changes will take
place in July, implying the nature of the task
assigned Brown, a career diplomat who has worked in
Brazil, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador and
Argentina, among other countries. He must conduct a
clean-up before the arrival of Peter Brennan, who
has been a State Department advisor and responsible
for policies in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Pakistan and
These unusual shifts at the U.S.
embassy in La Paz were addressed in an article in La
Epoca published March 17, which indicated that the
untimely exit of Larry Memmot came as a result of
pressure from the CIA and security officials who
were convinced that he was too soft, in a place
where a hard-liner was needed.
The change was attributed to the
health of a Memmot family member, but speculation
began when orders were additionally given for the
withdrawal of Mitchel Ferguson, assigned as
Memmott’s second in command, and subsequently sent
to head the political office, instead of Geoffrey
Frederick Schadrack, the CIA’s man in Bolivia. The
departure of these two was also strange. The State
Department gave them just 10 days to leave the
Despite the fact that during
Memmott’s stay secret service activities were not
interrupted, disagreement over priorities led to
tension between the embassy and intelligence forces.
Memmot did not ignore or oppose intelligence work,
but was inclined toward emphasizing civic action, to
gain the Morales government’s confidence, thus
Two important secret service
operations were not reported to Memmot, as is
normally the case, at least in general terms. On May
1, 2013, two Drug Enforcement agents, with close
ties to the CIA, illegally entered the country to
develop a damaging profile of Felipe Cáceres, deputy
minister of Social Defense, about drug trafficking.
The agents, David Wayne Paiz and Bert Davi Castorino,
arrived on a commercial Copa Airlines flight from
The second took place December 15
last year, when a CIA team arranged the escape of
U.S. citizen Jacob Ostreicher, who was on house
arrest and facing drug trafficking charges. The La
Paz operation was led by Geoffrey Frederick
Schadrack, the resident CIA representative who was
provided cover as the embassy’s political officer.
He convinced Memmott to help the individual for
humanitarian reasons, without informing his superior
of Ostreicher’s ties to the CIA.
Although there were rumors that
Memmott did not manage the embassy’s resources very
carefully, the arrival of secret service auditors
four days after his departure, indicate that
concerns went beyond bookkeeping issues.
Jefferson Brown’s actions thus far
give some idea of what his assigned task entails.
Despite the fact that he is not scheduled to remain
in Bolivia long, he has been busy. As soon as he
arrived, he met with opposition political figures
and analysts to discuss two opinion polls about
upcoming elections published in April. Next he
visited the embassies of several other countries.
Brown’s two-month assignment and the
arrival of Peter Brennan in July are troubling.
Their records indicate that the White House has
decided to take a harder stance against President
Evo Morales, who is projected to handily win the
upcoming October elections, giving his
administration an uninterrupted 14 years in office.
Brennan will arrive in La Paz during
the final stretch of the campaign, at a time when
Washington hopes the opposition will have put
together a common front to prevent the reelection of
Morales, who will go down in history as a
revolutionary leader, and as the candidate receiving
the greatest electoral majority in the country’s
history - 54% in 2005 and 64% in 2009.
It is expected that Brown and
Brennan will continue to work on uniting the
opposition in Bolivia, but surely, at the same time,
they will move ahead with the strategy of
engineering a "soft coup" – the new model of U.S.
intervention based on destabilization, as has been
evidenced in Venezuela.
Brennan has served as second in
command at U.S. embassies in Costa Rica and
Nicaragua, playing a hard-line interventionist role,
as revealed in cables publicized by Wikileaks and
other news sources. In 2007, Brennan pressured the
Costa Rican government of Oscar Arias to send the
country’s police to train "discreetly" at the U.S.
Southern Command Academy – given the absence of
military forces there.
During the Enrique Bolaños
administration in Nicaragua, in March of 2003,
Brennan informed Chief of Staff General Julio César
Avilés that military aid to the country - estimated
at 2.3 million dollars - was to be suspended until
the government destroyed all missiles and defensive
military capacity assembled by the Sandinistas over
a 10 year period. He was one among those responsible
for maintaining political stability in Pakistan and
promoted trips for youth to the United States to
learn about "democratic initiatives."
Brennan’s experience, like Brown’s,
in what are called "democratic initiatives" by the
National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and United
States Aid for International Development (USAID),
involves multiple subversive efforts in Cuba. On
January 13, 2011, along with three State Department
officials, he took advantage of an official visit to
discuss migratory issues to secretly meet with Cuban
dissidents, whose subversive efforts are organized
and financed by the U.S. government.
As head of the Cuban Affairs Office,
he worked on efforts to win the release of Alan
Gross, a UASID-contracted agent who was convicted of
attempting to install an illegal communications
system in Cuba and is serving a 15 year sentence.
With Brennan in charge of the Cuba
office, U.S. aggression toward the country increased.
The recently revealed mobile phone social network,
Zunzuneo, known as the Cuban Twitter, set up to
promote subversion, originated during this period.
Brennan will now be putting this experience to work
in Bolivia, as of July. (Excerpted from Rebelión)