Bolivia opens 'anti-imperialist' military school

August 17, 2016 3:29 PM EDT

Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a ceremony marking Bolivia's Independence Day, in Tarija, August 6, 2016. Freddy Zarco/Courtesy of Bolivian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS


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LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales opened a military school on Wednesday which he said would teach an "anti-imperialist" doctrine to counter U.S. policies "based on fear."

"The United States created the School of the Americas to indoctrinate the armed forces on pro-imperialism," said Morales, a reference to the Cold War-era U.S. academy that trained Latin American dictators and their military in counter-insurgency and torture techniques.

"If the empire teaches domination of the world from its military schools, we will learn from this school to free ourselves from imperial oppression," he said.

Ex-coca grower Morales has been a long-time critic of U.S. foreign policy, one of the last leaders left standing from South America's once-dominant populist leftist bloc.

Earlier this week he traveled to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro during the revolutionary leader's 90th birthday celebrations.

The military school will be located in eastern Bolivia, on the site of a former United Nations peacekeeping training center.

Up to 200 cadets will learn about history, geopolitics and military strategy, the government said. The school will be open to those from other countries in Latin America's leftist 'ALBA' bloc, which includes Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Alan Crosby)



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