Lawrence Heilman – PARTNER OR PATRÓN, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S AID PROGRAM IN BOLIVIA, 1942-2013
“Le unsung, the noblest deed will die.” Pindar from Isthmean Odes”
“Titanic in its concentraon of will, with unprecedented triumph in all spheres of material aggrandizement, its civilizaon yet produces as a whole a singular impression of insuﬃciency, of empness.” José Enrique Rodó from Ariel
On May 1, 2013, The New York Times reported that President Evo Morales announced he was expelling the United States Agency for Internaonal Development (USAID) from Bolivia. He was quoted as saying, “Some instuons of the United States Embassy connue to conspire against . . . the people [of Bolivia] and especially against the country….” and as a result, “We have decided to expel U.S.A.I.D. from Bolivia.” Aer receiving more than $4.7 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds over the past 70 years to support development eﬀorts in Bolivia, how could Morales decide the USAID relaonship should be terminated in such an abrupt manner? The answer to this queson is rooted in a complex slice of history beginning with the assistance provided to Bolivia by the U.S. Government during World War II.
Lawrence C. Heilman is research associate in the Anthropology Department at the Smithsonian Naonal Museum of Natural History. He served twenty years with USAID as a senior foreign service oﬃcer.