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!

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