Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Taking a page out of his hombre Hugo Chavez's book, Bolivian thug-in-cheif Monday ordered the government to take control (by force if necessary) of the nations oil and gas industry... The leftist revolution of South America continues....
Bolivian President Evo Morales Monday signed a decree to immediately nationalize the country's gas and oil industry, and ordered the military to occupy energy facilities.

Morales, 46, who was elected president in December on his pledge to nationalise the industry and make coca crops legal, made the announcement during a May 1 speech in the energy management centre of San Alberto, in the southern province of Tarija.

Wearing a hard hat typical of oil workers, Morales said international companies would be given 180 days to negotiate new contracts. Most of the country's natural gas deals were sealed in 1996, when Bolivia conceded 40 years of rights to Repsol of Spain, Petrobras of Brazil, Total of France and British Gas.

"This is a historic day, when Bolivia retakes the absolute control of our natural resources," Morales said. "The state is recovering the property, the possession of and the total and absolute control of these resources."

Bolivia has the second largest deposits of natural gas in Latin America, after Venezuela. The nationalisation move clashes with the secession efforts of the relatively oil-rich regions around Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, who are to vote in July on autonomy.

Morales, who pledged in December that multinationals would not be confiscated or expropriated, told the audience that the entire oil and gas production would become property of Bolivia, which will define "the conditions, volumes and prices" for the domestic and export markets.

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