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Bolivia takes control of its own oil and gas resources
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1768875,00.htmlOn May 1, Bolivia's recently elected president, Evo Morales, the country's first indigenous leader, put on a tin hat and made the declaration that much of the country had been waiting to hear. "The time has come," he said, announcing "a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources". Mr Morales spoke of "looting by foreign companies" and said it was time the armed forces "occupy all the energy fields in Bolivia"
While foreign governments and the 25 foreign energy companies in Bolivia - including BP and BG from the UK, France's Total, Spain's Repsol, Brazil's Petrobras and ExxonMobil from the US - expressed their "consternation" at Mr Morales' "sad and worrying" decision, really only the timing should have taken them by surprise. For the president was doing that most unfashionable of things, delivering on a campaign promise.
Throughout the campaign, Mr Morales and his running mate said they wanted to renegotiate foreign ownership of Bolivia's natural resources. This would not be appropriation, they said, it would not be nationalisation, it would be a renegotiation of existing contracts on terms that would provide a greater share of the revenues for the state.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1769720,00.htmlWith the nationalisation of Bolivia's natural gas and petroleum resources President Evo Morales, the country's first indigenous president, is dramatically reshaping his country's destiny. On May 1 he proclaimed "a historic day has arrived. Now the gas and oil that flows from our land will no longer belong to foreigners". This came just after his return from Havana, where he signed what was called the people's trade agreement with Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.
Good on them. There is a very pleasant breeze of fresh air blowing from Latin America at the moment.
Beep boop. I'm a bot.