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Sunday, May. 07, 2006 at 5:28 AM
The LA Times maintains it's edge as corporate cheerleader.
Bolivia has decided to take back its resources via the actions of democratically elected leader Evo Morales. ExxonMobil does not want that to happen though so it has spun its wheels and lo and behold the LA Times comes out with an OpEd condemning Morales as an incompetent and childish idiot. A peasant is always a peasant, one supposes, from the tone of the Times reaction, and only the captains of industry can lead the world.
But what the Times and so many others in the corporate media fail to do, is not only allow the dignity of economic choice to begin with the people who own the resources--the Bolivians who elected Morales--but they also fail to connect the dots (perhaps willfully so) of massive economic exploitation, environmental decimation from uncaring corporations like ExxonMobil and other resource-extraction transnationals, and the movement of people from desperate circumstances, and polluted lands into more affluent areas like America.
Yes, it may be controversial but many people immigrating to this nation are coming because American corporations have raped their lands, imposed slavery conditions and destroyed the village lifestyle, and created brutal military dictatorships or started devastating wars.
I support the immigrants to America. I also support Morales indigenous anger and rage at American corps. The LA Times would have us believe there is no connection between the 100s of thousands on the streets of LA in the last few months and what is going on in the nations we continously brutalize and rip-off. TheTimes must have a different source for information I guess.
As LA Time pontificates about 'economics' maybe they should dig a little deeper and ask what the CIA psychos are preparing for Morales, what wars are being planned to protect 'economic' interests in Bolivia.
Or is this something that is too abstract for the editors of the Times to comprehend.
Or do they just not want people to connect the dots.
May 6, 2006
BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES put his head in an oven this week and turned on the natural gas. There are only two likely outcomes: an explosion that ends his political career — or a slow suffocation for his people.
Morales' decision to nationalize Bolivia's energy sector was hardly unexpected; he was elected in December after promising to do just that. But it was a disappointment nonetheless to those who had hoped he'd follow the path of wiser South American politicians such as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose leftist rhetoric keeps supporters happy while his more centrist policies keep the economy humming. Morales instead is running into the arms of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a direction likely to impose a heavy cost on his impoverished nation of 9 million.
The problem with Bolivia is that it isn't Venezuela. The latter country has gotten away with energy nationalization because it wields a lot of power. As the world's fifth-biggest oil exporter, Venezuela is such a big supplier that companies have little choice but to accede to its demands. Bolivia has no such leverage. Its big resource is natural gas, which is harder to transport than oil, so typically it stays in local markets. Most of its gas exports go to Brazil, which recently discovered large domestic reserves.
Foreign companies have long been wary about investing in Bolivia, especially after the 2003 collapse of a project that should have assured a healthy future for the country. Spanish and British oil companies had proposed a $5-billion pipeline to carry natural gas from landlocked Bolivia to the coast of Chile, where it would be liquefied and shipped to Mexico and California. But the plan provoked furious protests in a Bolivian population still angry at Chile for seizing what used to be Bolivia's coastline in the 19th century. Morales helped lead the protest movement.
After investing $3.5 billion in Bolivia's natural gas industry, foreign companies are now likely to stop investing entirely unless Morales backs off from his plan to seize 82% of gas production from the largest fields. Their loss would be disastrous for Bolivia because its state-owned gas company is in no position to extract and export the gas itself. Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned energy company, has already suspended investment and said it will look for alternative supplies for Brazil.
Paying the price for Morales' rashness will be the people who elected him, and they can ill afford it; Bolivia is the poorest nation in South America. It's true that the country's resources have long been exploited by foreigners with little benefit to the indigenous population. But sending in the army to take over the gas fields isn't the answer to Bolivia's problems.
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