World / Politics

Political tensions pause as U.S. Air Force pilots train in high-altitude Bolivia


The U.S. Air Force is carrying out pilot training exercises in the skies of Bolivia in a rare display of bilateral cooperation from normally anti-American President Evo Morales.

Pilots of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military transport plane briefly landed at La Paz’s airport Thursday before quickly descending almost 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) to the city of Santa Cruz for refueling.

The U.S. Embassy said that the capital’s airport, one of the highest in the world, offers unique training conditions.

Morales is one of the most strident critics of the U.S. in Latin America. He expelled the U.S. ambassador in 2008 and several U.S. agencies since. Just last week he blamed his defeat in a referendum to change the constitution on a “dirty war” orchestrated by opponents from the U.S.