Evo's got a gun ...

If we weren't mired in Iraq, preoccupied with a manufactured crisis in Iran and almost universally loathed across Latin America, Fox News would be annointing Bolivian president Evo Morales as The Next Hitlerâ„¢ and the marines would be preparing to land in La Paz.

Morales is committing a cardinal sin; he's getting tough with the energy companies:


Bolivian President Evo Morales ordered the military to occupy the country's natural gas fields after nationalising the hydrocarbons sector and threatening to expel foreign companies if they do not sign new contracts within six months.
Impoverished Bolivia has the second largest natural gas reserves in South America after Venezuela, and the question of how the country should manage these riches has been at the heart of several popular revolts since 2003.
Morales became president in January on vows to exert more state control over the country's natural resources, reflecting a growing backlash against free markets and foreign investment in Latin America.[…]
"We are not a government of mere promises, we follow through on what we propose and what the people demand," Morales said after signing a nationalisation decree at the San Alberto field, operated by Brazil's state-owned Petrobras in the southeastern province of Tarija.
Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said officials from state energy company YPFB and the military began taking control of dozens of energy installations - including gas fields, pipelines and refineries - after Morales signed the document.
Jan Frel tells me that the State Department characterized Morales' nationalization decree as "a proposal." Funny.

Make no mistake: it's a "proposal" that's fraught with dangers and potential pitfalls, not least of which is scaring away foreign investors on a massive scale -- the country desperately needs capital for its energy infrastructure. But this is a great Bad Cop move, and if these big multinationals have a bit of fear put into them, perhaps they'll start coming to the bargaining table with just a tad of humility and an understanding that they had better be prepared to share the wealth.

For some background, see my piece on Bolivia's new government from January.
#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.