"For more than 500 years our natural resources have been pillaged and our primary goods exported. This has to be ended now," said MoralesIt's not possible to overstate the global importance of the unprecedented moves the newly elected president of Bolivia has made in the past two weeks.
This extraordinary development in the global economy promises either to be the first crack in the global fortress of transnational corporations, or the last gasp of breath for sovereign states. I don't think I need to tell you which I prefer.
Companies should only be compensated for assets taken over by the state, but not for loss of operating concessions as long as they have recouped their investments via profits, he said. He rejected suggestions he should have consulted with investors or neighbouring governments before announcing the move to nationalise Bolivia's oil and gas sectors. "There is no reason why I should have to ask and consult about a country's sovereign policies," he said.Expect a ruthless backlash from transnationals and their government lackeys, who don't like to be held accountable by uppity natives.
"There is no reason why we should think about compensation," Morales affirmed. "If we expropriated assets or technology we would have to provide compensation but in this case we are not expropriating."* * *
“We’re not going to limit ourselves to hydrocarbon res-ources,” he told a news conference. “There is also huge land ownership, especially unproductive land, in our country.”
Mr Morales described foreign energy investors as “smugglers” and argued that they had broken Bolivian laws and paid no taxes on their profits. . . .
He also pointed to a looming clash with the judiciary, whom the government has criticised for failing to impose laws to protect national interests. “For us, the judiciary are the representatives of the colonial state, not the people,” Mr Morales said. [sounds familiar]
Mr Morales also accused the US of misusing drug eradication programmes as part of its “geo-political interests” and warned neighbouring Andean countries not to press ahead with trade agreements with Washington.
Oh, one more thing. In case, you think what Morales is doing is unreasonable.
[E]ven energy-industry insiders who'd helped draft the country's privatization plan a decade ago agreed that the deals struck between the oil companies and the government--giving Bolivia only 18 percent of oil and gas profits--were now untenable.Don't let them tell you otherwise. Go, Evo, go!
Under that 1996 law, urged by the World Bank and IMF, Bolivia sold the bulk of its oil and gas industry to private companies and put production, sales and pricing in their hands. Since then Bolivia's estimated natural gas reserves have certainly grown: Analysts believe the country has ten times as much gas as it once thought--54 trillion cubic feet. World Bank officials now admit the low royalty and tax rates have been a bad deal for Bolivia.