05.02.06

Speaking of which…

Posted in Politics, Money & Finance, World at 1:06 am by Administrator

Soldiers occupying natural gas plants in bolivia

Apparently as a sort of May Day celebration, Bolivia’s socialist president Evo Morales has decided to nationalize the country’s natural gas production. Declaring, “The looting by the foreign companies has ended,” Morales sent troops to occupy gas fields tapped by multinational companies such as Exxon-Mobil and BP PLC. Unless the foreign companies agree to sign new (extortionary) contracts within six months, they will be evicted. 

This is not altogether surprising. Bolivia is the most recent in a long list of countries to have been “returned to the natives,” and “the natives” always seem to do the same thing.

I suggest that ALL the foreign companies pack up and leave NOW (Burning their infrastructure would probably be too much to ask). It would be a short term loss but a long term gain. It’s likely Morales plans to seize them anyway as soon as the state owned gas company is ready to take over production. Compliance by the corporations would encourage every other Mugabe and Castro to try something similar (not that they don’t already).

It will be interesting to see if the existing companies choose to put up with this sort of extortion. I suspect they’ll go more by the numbers than by any sort of principle. Any bets as to the effect total nationalization would have on Bolivia’s natural gas production?

Note: Bolivia has not yet nationalized production of its most popular export, so the supply will likely be unaffected. Whew. 

1 Comment »

  1. cappy_t.lisman said,

    May 14, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    That would be great if they up and left and pulled a Francisco d’Anconia on the way out

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