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US Congressional Delegation to Visit Bolivia


A U.S. congressional delegation travels to Bolivia next week for talks on trade and drug trafficking.

The six-member group will include incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They are expected to meet with Bolivian President Evo Morales while in La Paz.

The U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, has criticized Mr. Morales' plan to raise the legal limit for growing coca leaves.

Goldberg says surplus coca will always end up being used for cocaine, because drug traffickers can pay more than legal industries. He spoke Wednesday after meeting with Bolivia's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, to renew an agreement on fighting illegal drugs.

The new agreement cuts U.S. anti-drug assistance to Bolivia by 25 percent, for a total of $34 million.

President Morales announced Monday that his country will raise the legal limit for coca-growing from 12,000 hectares to 20,000 hectares. Bolivian law restricts how much land can be used to farm coca for herbal teas and other legal uses.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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