SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia, Aug. 18 (UPI) — Bolivian President Evo Morales on Wednesday inaugurated the military Anti-Imperialist School that will offer courses on how to counter the influence of the United States.
The military academy, which will initially take in 100 recruits, is located in eastern Bolivia’s city of Santa Cruz. Morales said the school was created to counteract the influence of the United State’s Army School of the Americas, a military academy in the state of Georgia that trained U.S. allies during the Cold War.
Some graduates of the U.S.-based school — renamed in 2000 to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation — went on to commit some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America, including former Guatemalan President Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, whose regime carried out widespread abuses such as rape, torture, executions and acts of genocide — including against indigenous populations.
“The creation of the Anti-Imperialist School responds to the need to promote ideas, reflections, studies, debates and build a thought to face the cultural, ideological, political and economic domination of the empire and its capitalist structure and thus achieve true liberation of our peoples,” Bolivia’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
During an inauguration ceremony, Morales accused the United States of helping promote global terrorism through military interventions — citing the rise of the Islamic State as an example.
“Our struggle for liberation requires forging alternative approaches, contestants who reject all forms of intervention and domination,” Morales said. “If the empire taught from military schools to dominate the world, we will learn from this school to free ourselves from the imperial oppression and defend the people.”