Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Bolivia seizes oil companies

President of Boliva, Evo Morales, announced yesterday, on the 100th day of his Government, that all international oil companies operating in Bolivia would be occupied by the Army.
Morales determined that, in 180 days, all companies should get in agreement with YPFB, the State owned Bolivian oil company, to adjust new contracts. Morales said that, with his act, Bolivia was recovering sovereignity over their natural resources.

The news came like a bomb in Brazil.
First because Petrobrás is today the biggest foreigner investor in Bolivia; it is estimated that Petrobrás has assets of US$ 1 billion in that country. Petrobrás operates the largest gas fields, and exports most of the production to Brazil.

The Brazilian government was more surprised, however, because in recent meetings Evo Morales had assured to President Lula himself that there would be no kind of intervention, at least as far as Petrobrás was concerned.

During the Presidential campaign, President Lula manifested his support to Evo Morales. Like Lula, who was an ex-metal worker, Morales came from the lower classes in Bolivia. Like Lula and Chavez, from Venezuela, Morales wants to strenght the "dignity and sovereignity" of their countries.

For the first time, Brazil, who always claimed to be exploited by the international capital, is now being charged of being the exploiter.

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