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Bolivia: Nationalization without Expropriation?
Raquel Gutierrez and Dunia Mokrani - 6/20/2006
On May 1, Evo Morales announced “Supreme Decree #28701” that establishes “the nationalization of Bolivian hydrocarbons.” The decree is worth analyzing in depth to understand how the Bolivian government is carrying out the measure.
After Bolivia's Gas Nationalization—Toward a New Regional Map
Raúl Zibechi - 6/2/2006
In a single sweep of the pen, Bolivian President Evo Morales has rearranged the continent's entire geopolitical map. The May 1st decision to nationalize hydrocarbons placed South America's second largest gas reserves under state control. Oil and gas are powerful weapons, capable of reshaping South American alliances, as evidenced by the close relationship between Venezuela and Bolivia, the continent's largest reserve holders in both sectors who have taken the political initiative and displaced the primary regional powers.
Bolivia: Evo´s Challenges
Luis Figueroa - 1/24/2006
Evo Morales, the socialist, will assume as president of Bolivia. He was favored by the Bolivian voters, so the coca grower and leader of the Movement Towards Socialism (Movimiento al socialismo) has the opportunity to vindicate the above mentioned corrupt and pauperizing ideology.
Evo Morales No Che Guevara
Ronald Bruce St. John - 1/12/2006
Evo Morales, president-elect of Bolivia, is often described in the Western media as a “leftist” if not a reincarnation of the legendary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. A mid-December article in The Independent saw Morales walking “in the footsteps of Che Guevara” while a more recent Los Angeles Times editorial was entitled, “Where ‘Che' Left Off.” Flaccid comparisons like these fuel the conservative hysteria generated by Morales' election, adding to the confusion as to the current political situation in Bolivia.
So What if Morales Wins in Bolivia
Ronald Bruce St. John - 12/16/2005
Evo Morales, indigenous candidate and bête noire of the Bush administration, looks set to become the next president of Bolivia. In polls released less than two weeks before elections scheduled for December 18, 2005, Morales leads with 36% of the vote, compared to 30% for former President Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga and only 12% for cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina. Once again misreading events in Bolivia, the White House is up in arms with the real prospect of a Morales victory.
Two Opposing Views of Social Change in Bolivia
Raúl Zibechi - 12/16/2005
Bolivia's social movements divide roughly into two camps on the issue of how to effect structural reforms: those who advocate that the central government should play the leading role and those who insist that organized civil society must play that role.
El Alto: A World of Difference
Raúl Zibechi - 10/17/2005
Chaos in motion. Street vendors, traders, merchants and stallholders, scouts and agents grind out their insistent songs. Traffic churns along the black, sticky mud that overflows sidewalks and streets. Car horns mixed with Andean music--traditional sounds of the hoarse pututu as well as electrifying guitars--fuse with voices offering-selling-demanding-marketing. Hundreds of trucks prepare to dive into the hole that is La Paz, and a few others tackle the feat of returning up the interminable slope: this is La Ceja of El Alto--the political and commercial center of this Aymara city. A bacchanal ...
Bolivia’s Referendum: More Than Gas
Ronald Bruce St. John - 7/22/2005
President Carlos Mesa won a stunning political victory last month when Bolivian voters overwhelmingly approved a five-point referendum, endorsing his plans to develop Bolivia’s gas reserves. Surrounded by energy-hungry neighbors, Bolivia’s reserves are estimated at more than 50 trillion cubic feet, about as much as Kuwait and second only to Venezuela on the continent. They are valued at approximately $70 billion.
Bolivians Struggle for Democracy
Nadia Martinez and Juan Montecino - 7/21/2005
The recent crisis that forced the resignation of Bolivia’s second president in less than two years stems from a much deeper problem that is plaguing the entire Latin American region: namely, what is best for the people and who decides?
Bolivia Steps Back from the Abyss
Ronald Bruce St. John - 7/21/2005
Dispensing with three presidents in less than two years, Bolivia enjoys the dubious distinction of being the most politically unstable state in Latin America today. After popular protests in October 2003 forced President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada to flee the country, the ousted leader was replaced by then-Vice President Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert. Initially enjoying an approval rating of over 70%, Mesa eventually agreed to step down in June 2005 in the face of street riots that he feared were leading the country to civil war. He was replaced by Supreme Court President Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, ...
Bolivian Waves Of Resentment At Chile
Thomas Muirhead - 1/19/2005
A century's old friction between two South American neighbours has recently been awakened from dormancy by the repeated and prominent outbursts of an extraneous leader, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's controversial president. Most recently he reiterated, loudly, his fanciful desire to swim in Bolivian seas. To most this will seem a rather surprising desire, being aware that Bolivia is quite clearly a landlocked country. There is no Bolivian shoreline for Chavez to bathe off. Herein lies the friction. Over a hundred years ago, Chile invaded Bolivia and began the bloody War of the Pacific. This ended a...