LA PAZ—Bolivia asked the U.S. government Tuesday to explain a U.S. scholar's allegation that embassy officials urged him to report on Cuban and Venezuelan activities in the leftist-run country.
The Foreign Ministry said it requested that U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg meet with Bolivian officials Wednesday to discuss the latest flare-up in a testy relationship between President Evo Morales' government and Washington.
Bolivia's first indigenous leader, Morales is closely allied with U.S. critics Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba's ailing leader Fidel Castro.
The alleged spying instructions came to light last week when a U.S. fellowship recipient, Johan Alexander Van Schaick, said the head of security at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz told him to stay alert to Cuban and Venezuelan presence in the country.
Van Schaick Tuesday made a legal declaration to a Bolivian notary, which the government hopes to use as part of a judicial investigation.
The U.S. Embassy said the scholar had attended by mistake an information session meant for government officials in November. Goldberg denied Monday that the embassy had orchestrated a spy operation in Bolivia.
Morales said he would not allow the embassy's security chief, Vincent Cooper, to return to Bolivia from Washington, where the embassy said he was providing information on the matter.