Independent Media Centre Ireland

Bad News for Mafia stockholders. Bolivia nationalises Fuel.

category international | anti-capitalism | news report author Wednesday May 03, 2006 16:51author by iosaf .:. ipsiphi

Bolivia has nationalised her fuel resources.

I'll bring you through it simply :-
* Last June Bolivia entered popular rebellion and verged on civil war.
* Morales emerged as popular leader of the Left & said if elected he would nationalise Fuel resources.
* He got elected. and sworn in 22/1/2006
* His thinking man Garcia Linera went about figuring out how that would happen.
* the oil companies (Repsol - Spain) said they'd sue if their investments were "misappropriated".
* Morales met Zapatero and promised he'd go about it easily in a staged way.
* Garcia Linera said it wouldn't be a surprise.
* May 1, 2006 morales put on his presidential sash and announced a presidential decree.
* May 2, 2006 the Bolivian army accompanied by Police in riot gear turned up at the installations kicked every inside out, and put up banners "nationalised for the Bolivian people".
Bolivian Fuel resources are now nationalised.
Bolivian Fuel resources are now nationalised.

Oh well, that came as a shock to the corporations which until May 2nd 2006 owned them.
They're very shocked. Its all quite shocking. It is indeed a big surprise

There will be a summit on Thursday morning in Argentina's little city of Iguazú between Lulu for Brazil, Kirchner for Argentina, Morales for Bolivia and (guess who?!?!) Hugo Chavez.

Radio Cuba made the announcement that Chavez would go along ending South American speculation over the last hours. Venezuela is not primary economic player in Bolivia though.
So we can use the adjective "bolivarian" for Hugo's eagerness to sit at the table.

Brazil and Argentina are the principle continental customers of Bolivian Fuel, and after "Spain" (considered as an economic entity) helds the most investment / ownership of Bolivia's Fuel industries when the capitalist system is taken into account, because of course lots of the ownership went to share holders who are spread out all over the place, an awful lot of them in the USA, quite a few in the UK, hey! there are even a few in Ireland.

For the moment, Bolivia has promised both Brazil and Argentina that their supply of fuel will not be interrupted. if it is, poor people in both those states will suffer. Both Brazil and Argentina expressed concern at the manner in which nationalisation occured.

Oh well, as long as nothing happens to Mr Morales in the meantime, (& he seems to have Mr Chavez of baseball bat holding his hand for tomorrow's crises summit ) we'll all get to hear him talk about it when he comes to adress the European Parliament on May 19th.

Mr Humala, presidential run-off candidate in Peru has just announced this afternoon that if elected he will nationalise as well. Whilst the Bolivian state has not ruled out a "staged, no surprises nationalisation" of the mines.

And Bolivia has also not ruled out nationalisation of all fuel which passes through the state in pipelines either.

Bolivians are very happy about all this. They are dancing in the street. Many think this is why they should have police in riot gear and soldiers

Some Bolivians have noticed the small print adverts put out by the state appealing for experts in Oil production to get in touch with the Government a.s.a.p. so they can figure out how to keep the installations working.

background links :-

the other Mr Bolivia : Who is García Linera?

Bolivia (the article which brings you from the beginning of thist story
"Behind the constitutional legitimacy we see the oligarch backed by the USA and military."

By the way I don't think this is a surprise at all. Wonderful timing. History is made.
But what I am interested to see is if it will improve quickly and without corruption the lot of the poorest of Bolivia. If not one mafia will replace another. & sadly that has all too often been how this sort of thing has worked.

But for the moment SOLIDARITY! with the Bolivian people. as I expressed in june 2006. Nothing has changed.

May they dance!

Comments (17 of 17)

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author by eeekkkpublication date Wed May 03, 2006 16:58author address author phone

was at the dance on mayday evening in the capital

sez it was an overwhelming celebration

author by giggle.publication date Wed May 03, 2006 17:10author address author phone

if the Gardaí were sent into Shell &c..,
Oh yes. we might even vote PD.

author by iosafpublication date Wed May 03, 2006 21:38author address author phone

I anticipate & have anticipated varying reactions amongst Europe's left in general and the Irish left in particular in the run-up to this surprise
Which is why I attacked Chavez for May day and did my best to push that wedge between anarchists and communists. Some of you might have noticed that. & it seemed to work as well. The newswire saw its first articles published in a while on Venezuela, and as usual someone dismissed by thoughts on Latin America as "w-a-f-f-l-e". Which suits me.

Ok here goes a little "opinion" :-

Javier Solana is a Catalan socialist, and member of the PSOE/PSC party which under Zapatero won the elections in 2004. He is also the man who does "foreign relations" statements for the EU being the EU foreign minister who speaks Spanish . He's thus really quite important in EU circles, and he combines that with being really quite important in Spanish socialist circles too. He has on behalf of "Europe" condemned the presidential decree by which the Bolivian state has nationalised its hydrocarbon fuel resources as "juridicially dodgey".
& used diplomatic words like worrying but in true diplomatic speak tempered all that by confirming that there are no internationally legal means open to the EU to stop Bolivia. Incidently he also just told the European Parliament there were no no internationally legal means open to the EU to stop the CIA doing torture rendition flights yesterday. = So there you have it. We're not declaring war on either the USA or Bolivia. We're not even going to do sanctions.

Well, the thing is the nationalisation process (if carried out in classical marxist stype) would be juridicially dodgey. But Dodginess has never stopped a presidential decree anywhere, or for what its worth a single day's business of the EU. And this is where it gets interesting for me. Since I was the first to translate the declarations of the Left in the cities of Paz and Sucre in Bolivia in June 2005 to english, I've been wondering a lot about the proposals of "MAS" the Bolivian party and the statements by Linera García on how "nationalisation would not prejudice private property issues". & I suggest the clever amongst the readers do likewise. Before Friday I'm not going to write any detailed assessment of how such XXI century nationalisation will work in the other states of Latin America nor of my deep desire to see such types of nationalisation embraced in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Nor will I give much attention to the proposition that the current momentous developments in South America no longer need the leadership of one state alone (meaning Venezuela) or in societies of (qouting Linera Garcia) "poorly developed social fabric the emergence of a personality cult akin to caudillism". But the ball is rolling & without Hugo Chavez or Silvio Lula it would have started to roll in a different way but the ping pong board is loaded, all balls go the same way. except one very important caveat :-
what is happening in South America is not accounted for in the marxist dialectic of western Europeans & don't go jumping to conclusions. It is sadly almost 30 years too late for such nationalisation. The pure marxist solutions to South American woes died with Allende.

Enough (Basta) to say that the Oil and Gas corporations who are mostly based in Spain are burning the telephone of the Moncloa palace of Zapatero at this very moment, and reaching for every commercial media outet available to them decrying their "worry" and "surprise". They are really worried for sensible reasons. Their stock in the "newly affluent Spain" is a popular near blue chip investment option. It could be considered equivalent to Ireland's bourgoise Ryanair shares, Repsol are one of the shares kids get told to watch at 18 in economics class.
Those same corporations and banks struck internationally legally binding deals with the previous incarnations of the Bolivian state to develop infrastructure suitable to the commercial exploitation of Bolivia's natural resources. They did not buy the Oil and Gas fields. They did so in the standard way of including their share of profit on the resources extracted to "pay back" the cost of said developments. So.... the offices and wells and all the pipes and stuff "belong" to them "-ish" or if we examine the small print "were on a sort of lend lease arrangement and....." Quite. This is a moment not for "judicial statements" which assuage the board of directors of companies such as Repsol or BBVA being made by "Spanish Socialist MEPs" . This is rather the moment for us all to accept, the facts.

The same day (14/6/07) I translated the declaration of intent to nationalise Bolivian resources by the Bolivians, BBVA seized the bank accounts in Spain of the Zapatista support groups, some of you may remember within a week the global Zapatista and EZLN support family went into "red alert" (C/F alerto rojo) The cops came along saw the Zapatista people hanging around on ropes at the BBVA hq in Barcelona (where I live) and faced facts - I heard one to remark on seeing the usual faces Oh Its the zapatistas, they'll come down when they're ready. there's no point in us waiting here, let's go catch criminals. It was a beautiful moment, and I laughed. Of course the sour faced brutal agent of oppression didn't laugh with me. But thats history. & thats the waffling done.

Bolivians wanted to nationalise.
Bolivians have nationalised.
They did so because multi-national-corporative exploitation or development of their resources ripped them off from day one. & we call that ethics .

It would help if you're thinking of making one of those barstool comments if you have read both of my previous reports on what we all wanted for Bolivia articles and their comments (mostly by me) first as required background reading - - - - - -

yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ;-)

author by shane ocurrypublication date Thu May 04, 2006 12:44author address author phone

Did my own little nationalisation jig (though, of course workers control would hyave been better - in which case I would have hornpiped). And you're so mych better looking trha Miriam O'Callaghan and Mark Little too!

author by Topperpublication date Thu May 04, 2006 13:47author address author phone

"as usual someone dismissed by thoughts on Latin America as "w-a-f-f-l-e". Which suits me. "

As the one who dismissed your comments as "waffle", I stand by it. Anyone who puts Hugo Chavez in the same category as Robert Mugabe is indeed a tiresome waffler. You haven't put forward any real evidence to justify your attacks on the Chavez government, so it qualifies as waffle.

If it wasn't for the radicalising effect of the Bolivarian revolution in the region, it's doubtful if Morales would have been elected in the first place, and it's certainly very unlikely that he would have had the confidence to press ahead with nationalisation of hydrocarbons.

As far as I can see from your incoherent posts, you're no more an "anarchist" than I am a "communist".

author by yawn - (iosaf)publication date Thu May 04, 2006 14:50author address author phone

You really are dim if you describe the area of South America from Bolivia to Venezuela as a "region".
If you find an atlas down the local library you will see that distance between the nearest points of both countries is so great... Oh well. Doesn't matter.

I suppose Morales just makes equal reference to not being influenced by Lula as not being influenced by Chavez to please his Brazilian minority? Do you really think using your same "regional idea" that Hungarians vote socialist influenced by Zapatero? Did the Norwegians go left in their last election because of Socrates in Portugal? Thats the same logic that Newsweek uses. & just to think that the common symbolism used in South America is Che Guevara or Castro. Would Chavez have been possible without Castro? Topper? yep. Would Castro have been possible without Che?

I however, believe that South Americans are leftwing by nature, intellect, conviction and history. They didn't need the emergence of a popularist who has been described by the vice president of Bolivia as a "caudillo who emerged in a state with poorly developed social fabric" [perhaps because it is too big and all that unites it really is a historical affection for Simon Bolivar and continental wide TV channel] to start or fight their revolution. & indeed if you check the record, Chavez was notably silent and absent at the beginning, preferring not to call the winner of last June's crises.

Tell you what, you should learn spanish and make some friends from the "region". & then you can tell us all how to keep South America left when Chavez & Castro go to caudillo heaven. Or are you a "one person, one leader - revolutionary?"

so here we go the order of influence "- Morales - Chavez - Allende - Castro - Che - Lenin - Marx"
gurggle. Thing is Topper you're missing the continental problem of nationalism. Most South Americans are very patriotic and don't want a "Bolivar" leading them all which is why the Bolivarian myth which works perfectly in Venezuela is dangerous across the continent. Does Europe want a man of Napoleon's genius (excluding the wars) again?

author by Topperpublication date Thu May 04, 2006 15:21author address author phone

I was being politer than I might have been, but since you insist ... the kindest thing that could be said about your writings on this site is that they betray total lunacy on your part. Either that, or you are pathologically dishonest. I followed your ridiculous "debate" with Barry the other week about the Easter Rising. Barry demolished your arguments again and again, but you blundered on, making more and more outlandish claims without any shred of evidence to back them up, until eventually the poor sod realised he was on a hiding to nothing and left you to your own devices.

As someone commented on that thread, it's amazing how you can write so much while communicating so little. There are a lot of words in your last post but I couldn't discern any real arguments. Bolivia and Venezuela are not part of the same region? Political developments in one country never have any influence on developments in its neighbours? Pure shite, plain and simple.

I won't be responding to you again, Barry wasted his time trying to debate with you so I'm not going to make the same mistake. But I'll say again - it's outrageous to put Hugo Chavez in the same category as Robert Mugabe.

I got an email a couple of hours ago from a friend of mine who was attending a human rights conference in Zimbabwe, where she had the dubious pleasure of hearing opposition activists describe the torture methods used by the secret police against them while in custody. In Zimbabwe, there is no political freedom, opposition activists are continuously harrassed by the state and frequently murdered, journalists are muzzled (even foreign ones are hassled or sometimes expelled), and the government is a corrupt, self-serving plutocracy that is determined to cling onto power at all costs, no matter how much suffering it inflicts on its people.

In Venezuela, opposition parties are allowed to organise and run candidates, the private media is mostly controlled by elements bitterly hostile to the government, and the government has won free, fair elections repeatedly. It has strong popular support because it has introduced reforms that have benefited the poor majority since taking power in 1998. Chavez is almost certain to win this year's presidential election - which will be the fourth time he has won a free election since 1998.

I am not a wide-eyed cheerleader for Chavez. I don't support him as an individual. I support the revolutionary process in Venezuela, I only support Chavez insofar as his actions advance this process. If he ever mutated into a tyrant like Mugabe I would condemn him, but I see no signs of this at present. I support organisations like the radical union federation, the UNT, which is pro-government while remaining independent (and critical when necessary).

I suppose Morales will do something to annoy you soon, and you'll condemn him as bitterly as you condemn Chavez now. No serious activist ("anarchist" or "communist") will pay a blind bit of notice what you say.

(Cue more hot air from Iosaf, I suppose .... YAWN!

author by Topperpublication date Thu May 04, 2006 15:29author address author phone

Just read over your post to see if it made any more sense on a repeat reading. Mostly it didn't, but I couldn't help noticing, you quote the VP of Bolivia approvingly. This is the same man who says that socialism is impossible in Bolivia for 50 or 100 years at least, so developing "Andean capitalism" is the only option for a long time to come. He may be a dab hand at coming up with a Marxist/Gramscian spin for his arguments, but the VP is a conservative force in the Morales government. Amusing to see the great "anarcho-syndicalist" Iosaf relying on his judgement...

author by iosafpublication date Thu May 04, 2006 15:34author address author phone

The value of Spanish Hydrocarbon related stock - Repsol and the main bank playing South America BBVA and the main supplier of electronic systems Indra have fallen 2% since the decree.

Zapatero has been lauded by his commercial press throughout the Spanish speaking world for "pouring oil on troubled water". (pun). More than one highlighting his usual gift for "de-dramatising situations". The Spanish press also are wondering how the PSOE government in Madrid will deal with this crises, since they represent the largest foreign investment in the Andean state. Zapatero has confirmed that he has spoken by telephone yesterday to Morales, Linera Garcia, Chavez, Lulu and the chief executive of Repsol. He has ruled out sanctions and insists there is a "fiplomatic and political solution" possible, his right wing opposition are naturally incensed with him "as usual" , not happy with ending the unity of Spain, he's now going to end the financial empire. The IMF man, Rodrigo Rato, himself a former PP (Spanish right wing minister) who brokered the end of Argentine debt has called for "prudence" and "exploration of all options open to both sides".

The anglo-saxon commercial press has blamed Chavez describing him as the "region's strongman" pointing out that before the decree, Morales and joined with Chavez and Castro in Havana for an "anti-imperialism" summit.

Linera Garcia (vice president of Bolivia) has made several key statements -
* Chavez is not behind the nationalisation, but in the preparatory period Bolivia requested and recieved legal, industrial and economic advisors from (in alphabetical order) Mexico, Spain and Venezuela.
* a Commission will be set up in 28 days to tender for new contracts from those corporate entities interested in assisting the Bolivian people exploit their natural resources.
* Brazil is dependent on Bolivian gas for its domestic market and its supply will not be disturbed, Bolivia intends "to honour her international commitments".
* the USA has through her embassy asked for an explanation of the decree, and will get one in time.

the good news for Spanish stock-holders is that the aforementioned shares have been dropping over the last months, and most independent financial advisors have already told the novice investor to move to Telefonica and Barcelona Football Club. Barca having won for the second time running the "spanish league" are really a tippy toppy share. Buy now and if Arsenal lose the European Cup you'll be on a winner. That little second house in the sun might be yours. There's always windmills too. Windmills are cool. Clean, ecological, they brighten any trip through Valencia and undoubtedly more spanish an investment than the Catalan football team.

who made it po$$ible? who has the pow€r? or is it just a people thing?
who made it po$$ible? who has the pow€r? or is it just a people thing?

author by iosaf :-)publication date Fri May 05, 2006 01:49author address author phone

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil who is head of state of the primary customer of Bolivian gas has recognised the legitimate right of the Bolivian state as expressed in Presidential Supreme decree 28,701 of May 1st 2006 to ownership of its "sub soil" resources as the summit held today in the Argentine city of Puerto Iguazú between Morales, Lula, Kirchner and Chavez as presidents of Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela respectively.

Chavez has expressed his complete support for the the decision of the Bolivian state, saying it honours the popular will.

Brazil's largest hydrocarbon corporation second only to the Spanish Repsol for investment in Bolivia has criticised Lula's "lack of foresight" and question his good relations with the other 3 leaders of the "new left" regimes of South America. So far Lula appears to be under the most neo-liberal pressure, and we must note he is the leader of the largest economy in South America and of the those economies percieved along with China and India as emergent "global economic entities".

The priority seems to be the continued and un-interrupted supply of fuel to Brazil's Sao Paolo region, the motorhouse of its economy. The Brazilian popular left regime is under extreme capitalist and constitutional pressure at the moment....

If you check the waffle above, you'll see I said clearly enough "no-one bought the oil or gas fields" (they're underground, no-one can stop the nationalisation from that point) and also "bolivians wanted to nationalise - they nationalised". So waffling is on track with both Lula and Chavez for the moment.

For their part the number one investor in Bolivia Spain, has ruled out (under President Zapatero) any reduction in aid or financial assistance to the Andean state as a diplomatic measure of castigation. Spain being the primary doner of aid and financial assistance to that state.

For their part the BBC spanish service has reported the emergency summit has sent a
united signal of solidarity

say it in popularist language.
say it in neo-con speak.
say it whatever you want.
So far its working.


now Lula needs our support.

Kirchner & Morales & Lula & Chavez say Yyyyyyyyiiiiiiiiiiiiiipppppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Kirchner & Morales & Lula & Chavez say Yyyyyyyyiiiiiiiiiiiiiipppppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

author by iosafpublication date Fri May 05, 2006 02:03author address author phone

Kirchner President of Argentina (see above picture) as host head of state read the final statement recognising bolivia's expression of her sovreignity and her neighbours eagerness to join with her in legal and bilateral commercial agreements of trade and "new contracts". They also all signed a pipe line agreement which will ensure fuel supply to the south of the continent, and then Kirchner commented to journalists that today's meeting " had been one of the happiest he has chaired as president " . Kirchner is not a popularist, not many western European communists sing his praises but the "mothers of the disappeared" think he is good enough , and indeed on a slight aside, of all the world leaders only he and Brazil's Lula suffer disfiguring disabilities. Which is of course un-important in an age of perfect political leaders as products shaped for mass consumption.


author by iosafpublication date Sat May 06, 2006 03:22author address author phone

Spain sent a delegation to Bolivia today to discuss the nationalisation thing, which was such a big surprise for everyone. They've agreed to bilateral discussions on their respective responsibilities as states within 180 days ( a silly person would think it was an eviction order) .
Interestingly the usual Oil and Gas company employees have been allowed to return to their work & are "carrying on as normal" (qoute BBC) but must endure Bolivian army guards "so that no-one destroys important files".
The delegation sent from Madrid was in the typical diplomatic sense quite low key, one of "the number two's" heading it instead of the foreign minister or any others of the cabinet charged with 3rd world or exterior investment affairs.
& this weekend's closing stock prices at the Madrid and Barcelona stock exchanges showed a "steadying of nerves" : the Spanish state's financial markets aren't really losing a lot of money over Bolivians owning their "sub soil resources". Its all quite splendid.
The PP have fallen in with it all as well, and confined their opposition criticism in the congress to notable lauding of the regimes of Brazil, Chile and Mexico reminding anyone that is interested that those states observe "international law" & are "safe for business". The French capitalist press which is presently more concerned with the "clearstream" scandal opened its "america's coverage" with an interesting salvo today wondering whether or not Lula will succeed in winning the general elections in Brazil this Autumn. Well we hope so. Lets be Lula-ist! & the Anglo-saxon press has for the most part ignored the whole story behind Bolivian presidential decree 28,701 May 1st 2006 preferring to look at the Engurlish local elections and Israel's new cabinet.

So there you have it.
sin é.
(€ = $) / %
the Bolivians have nationalised their hydro-carbon resources with apparent success. Now we wait and see will the Bolivians actually improve their dire poverty through what was undoubtedly a popualr decision coz it might have all just been a smokescreen to keep the masses happy, "hola presidente" style.... We wait 180 days....

author by Johnpublication date Sat May 13, 2006 01:24author address author phone


These foreign plundering corporations spend $billions in Bolivia to find gas, that the Bolivians couldn't/didn't, and to get it out of the ground and distribute it, which the Bolivians couldn't do either. exactly is that plunder?

And the biggest player in Bolivia in this is Brazil. Last I checked the US position was small bordering on non-existant.

Furthermore, does noone realize that nationalized companies invariably suck at what they do? Venezuelas oil production is declining under Chavez, because the national oil company is so incompetent. The same pattern happens in other countries as well.

Drive a better deal? Sure. Quite possibly the original contract was one-sided. I don't know one way or the other. But I don't really think you can accuse people of plunder when they spend a lot of time, money, and effort finding and extracting the stuff.

Isn't it better to have a small piece of a big pie than a large piece of a small pie? I mean, what is the ultimate objective? Nationalization for it's own sake? Or a healthier economy and more money to spend on the poorest and most unfortunate.

This is NOT to say that the behaviour of companies in the hydro-carbon business is beyone reproach. I'm not that naive. But to think that nationalizing the industry will "solve all our problems" (Morales was quoted as saying that by the way). Well, that's about as silly as most of what comes out of G.W.Bush's mouth. Idiocy should not be replaced by a different kind of idiocy.

Just some thoughts....

author by Bolivan fanpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 18:46author address author phone

The capitalists clearly are not pleased with Boliva exercising its soverign rights when it took back control of it oil and gas resources because the IMF has just cut off credit to Boliva. This is designed to plunge the country into crisis to teach Boliva a lesson and anyone else who might try the same.

Related Link:
author by iosafpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 21:12author address author phone

The BBVA is the largest Spanish bank operating in Bolivia and "Hispanic" America, its an ordinary bank, and banks go, does mortgage lending, car loans, that sort of stuff. It is an important player, they used to hold the solidarity accounts of the global Zapatista network, but froze them without proper reason last June, this occured pretty much at the same time as the Bolivian presidential crises which brought Morales to power and one week before the EZLN declared the "red alert".
(you can background this here :-

Since the May 1 decree nationalising hydro-carbon resources, Morales has ordered BBVA to surrender its stock in Bolivia's fuel resources. That stock is directly linked to European (mostly spanish) pension funds. The hydro-carbon nationalisation wasn't a surprise, and most investors had already moved their stock out of Repsol (The largest Oil company) and the Madrid exchange hardly tweetered in early May. But his attack on BBVA must be considered as having much broader effect. he is attacking one of the corner stones of global inequality -- the pension funds of the ageing and greying US, EU and Japanese citizens are handled with a disregard to justice or longterm ecological or economic effect on the 3rd world which is only second to the global narcotraffic trade of heroin and cocaine. His team really know what they're doing. Pay attention! The Madrid exchange has just lost all its volume growth and worth of the past 4 years. This has as much to do with the attack on BBVA as the largest fraud case in spanish history, which has seen billions lost in "collective investment" in postage stamps of all things.
Bolivia anticipated the IMF position, and are very well positioned to respond to it. They have not lost their principle external sources of financial aid - Spain, the EU and Argentina, nor are they likely to lose long term "high risk" comitment from another player.....
That other player will soon merit more mention - the swiss bank UBS.
UBS has moved from relative outsider to the largest bank in the South American continent. Its no an ordinary bank, it doesn't do mortgages, car loans or pensions. It does "private wealth management", this means cutting up the global cake, and "hogwort gringot style swiss accounts", amongst its cherished clients are included the top ten financiers of the Catholic Church. (*) The growth of UBS in the last 2 years has been astounding and it is now rated between 7th and 4th most powerful financial institute in the world. Lets put it simply - its tax revenue pays for Swiss hospital beds, buses and all the army knives. The attitude of its directors to South America appears at the moment to be consistent and is based on a 15 year plan, one Spanish director told me in private conversation about 18 months ago, that they want & seek popular left wing regimes in South America & envision a domino Chile effect. . Truly the world of global capital is a weird one...

We have an awful lot to learn from what the Bolivians are doing.
Not only from popular flag waving support, but at the very tactical way they are approaching the problems.
To recap -
1) nationalisation of hydrocarbons
2) demands on banks
3) begin break-up of latifundia gigantic real estate.

(*) slight aside one of the 10 main financiars of the Vatican is a little Belgian woman who in 2005 caused homeless people to be evicted from a vacant property she had unknowingly bought on what in swiss private banking is called "a haircut" ( = a tiny clip of profits for some reason as comprehensible as quantum physics which somehow turns a loss into a profit ) in Barcelona where a luxury hotel is now being built. it is doubtful whether that transaction even appeared on her monthly statement, or indeed that she even gets a monthly statement
Keep reading the material - update - research & write!!!!

author by iosafpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 21:59author address author phone

The Presidents of Bolivia & Venezuela and the vice president of Cuba (Carlos Lage) have today signed a variety of trade accords between the three states in Shinahoto in the Cochabamba region of Bolivia.
(C/f links will expire I'll put up others later)

The most important agreement has been the opening of 2 legal markets for Coca producers. I'll write more about it soon, it will go in the next "sunday papers" (pervert edition) meanwhile I want to add this very important reform to the list of tactical manouvres of the MAS party of Bolivia (who for the moment I very much admire). They have also listened to Hugo Chavez tell them there is a US conspiracy against Morales, and ordinary Bolivians lined the streets to greet Chavez. Incidently the weekly satirical Spanish magazine "el Jueves" front cover a few weeks ago, summed that up. Two texan looking billionaire NRA types admiring thier trophies of near extinct animals, the last one on the wall is an indiginous colour stripe T-shirt, the caption "I bagged that one from a sweetie who nationalised our gas". But as I've tried to remind everyone - what is happening in South America is not just about single individuals, "hugo", "evo", "fidel" or even dead heroes "che", "allende", "bolivar". It is about a huge and unprecedented alliance, who have had long enough to figure out what needs to be done -
& what order to do it in.

Thus to refresh -
1) nationalisation of hydrocarbons
2) demands on banks
3) begin break-up of latifundia gigantic real estate.
4) grant coca producers a legal market & begin regularisation of the single cash crop which does the most damage to the ecosystem balance.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 18:51author address author phone

At my last comment the state of affairs was

Thus to refresh -
1) nationalisation of hydrocarbons
2) demands on banks
3) begin break-up of latifundia gigantic real estate.
4) grant coca producers a legal market & begin regularisation of the single cash crop which does the most damage to the ecosystem balance.

That was followed by attempts by Morales to change the Constitution, though getting lots of votes, he didn't get enough. So I didn't update that. Then the rounds of negotiations began with each customer. Boring % stuff which saw Brazil and Argentina come away happy enough with the cheap gas they need for their economies and the Bolivians happier coz now they get a bit more. But what I want to update today is the really quite wonderful deal being hammered out between Chile and Bolivia.

"Sea for Gas".

A year ago now Bolivia went through the crises which brought Morales to power. I brought you all through that here & in a comment made on the 9th of June I explained something to you under the title "Let's get military". For at that stage it was not clear if Bolivia was going to see its eventual democratic and wonderfully constitutional exit to the crises and not instead go to civil war. & that comment focussed on the importance of Bolivia's number one military man - admiral Luis Aranda. He did very well last year slapping down rumours of a military coup on the 8/6/05. Ah! the exceptionally bright amongst you then and now said - Bolivia has an admiral but no sea!!!!
& you were right then and right now. Bolivia has no coastline, and you'd be right, Bolivia lost her coastline to Chile in 1884 and the role of the 3800 navy is now mostly confined to border work on Lake Titicaca which at over 12,000 foot is the highest lake in the world and is shared with Peru their one seagoing vessel is kept in Argentina and cruises on the river Plate and has never been near Bolivia. (c/f )

Now in 2006, that is 122 years after the Bolivians lost their coast to Chile, "military nationalist pride" that much overlooked element in all South American politics has come to the table of negotiation on the price of Gas supplied by one of South America's poorest states (Bolivia) and one of South America's richest states (Chile).

The proposition is for Chile to give Bolivia a little bit of Sea Access. Much more for its pride than any great economic or possible imperialist expansion to the Galapagos islands. Maybe some day the flagship of Bolivia's navy the General Bolivar will sail around the tip of south America from Argentina.

& perhaps that's why Chile's president Bachelet and Bolivia's president Morales will meet for their summit in Argentina's Cordoba. Or maybe its because Argentina does cheap catering.

Thus to refresh & elucidate - the most important elements of the Bolivian Social Project

1) nationalisation of hydrocarbons
2) demands on banks
3) begin break-up of latifundia gigantic real estate.
4) grant coca producers a legal market & begin regularisation of the single cash crop which does the most damage to the ecosystem balance.
5) constitutional reform launched but stalled - better done slowly.
6) satisfaction of national & military pride.

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