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President Morales' Bolivian Natural Gas Bombshell

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Council On Hemispheric Affairs
Monitoring Political, Economic and Diplomatic Issues Affecting the Western Hemisphere
COHA Research 06.02 Word Count: 2400

Announcement: President Morales Detonates a Bomb, with Repercussions that Reach Far Beyond Bolivia

COHA will shortly be issuing an analysis of President Evo Morales’ May 1 announcement that all Bolivian natural gas and hydrocarbons will be nationalized.

The report will examine the pluses and minuses of Morales’ action, and pay particular attention to the importance of the nationalization as a tool for regional integration.

Themes will include the world’s reaction to the decree; geopolitical factors including proposed pipeline projects; and the impact of the Bolivian nationalization on relations between Brasilia and La Paz.

COHA will also discuss the question of whether the State Department will now throw aside its nascent policy of cautious respect for Morales and add him to its hate list.

Additionally, the release will examine the nationalization through the lens of the recently signed tri-partite ALBA trade pact between Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, which may mark the beginning of a developing world call for a more socially conscious and humanistic system of development and trade.

This would thus represent the opening chapter of a philosophical assault on the tenets of the Washington Consensus, which asserted the supremacy of market accessibility and the superiority of the private over the public sector.


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