Skip to main content

Bolivia nationalises Fuel

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.
______________________________________________________________________________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? (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." 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!

Add Your Comments >>printable version with comments

RSS and atom feeds allow you to keep track of new comments on particular stories. You can input the URL's from these links into a rss reader and you will be informed whenever somebody posts a new comment. hide help

Most Recent Comments FirstView Comments Titles Onlysave preference
Comments (3 of 3)Jump To Comment: 1 2 3

an irish compadre by eeekkk Wed May 03, 2006 15:58
was at the dance on mayday evening in the capitalsez it was an overwhelming celebration

It would be a police act which would go without much complaint round here by giggle. Wed May 03, 2006 16:10
if the Gardaí were sent into Shell &c.., no?Oh yes. we might even vote PD.

An opinion based comment with jogs to memory & important things to note. by iosaf Wed May 03, 2006 20:38
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 - - - - - -! ;-)

Posted Date: 
3 May 2006 - 4:35pm