US Embassy official accused of asking student to spy will not return to Bolivia

.LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – A U.S. Embassy official accused of asking an American student and Peace Corps volunteers to keep tabs on Venezuelans and Cubans in Bolivia will not return to the country, an embassy official confirmed Wednesday.

The announcement was made intially by Government Minister Alfredo Rada following a meeting that he and Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca had Wednesday with U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg.

The ambassador “officially communicated to us that Vincent Cooper will not return to Bolivia,” Rada told reporters.

Last July, according to embassy officials, Cooper mistakenly gave a group of newly arrived Peace Corps volunteers a security briefing meant only for embassy staff, asking them only to report “suspicious activities.”

But embassy officials said they could not confirm whether Cooper also gave improper instructions to Fulbright scholar during a one-on-one briefing last November.

Goldberg said this week he “greatly regrets” the mistake, and on Wednesday thanked Bolivian officials for accepting his explanation.