Bolivia Gas Gamble Wins Round 1
While the people of Bolivia celebrated the May 1 announcement that the contracts with foreign multi-national oil companies will be renegotiated to the benefit of them, the world's press sought fit to scare its readers with doomsday scenarios painted by Wall Street investors and oil industry experts. It was called a populist takeover" by the NY Times, the Washington Post posited a "crisis."
The outraged scribes did not seem to mind that much of the details were not known, and barely mentioned that this move was the centerpiece of Evo's campaign pledge. The newspapers decided to run photos NOT of celebrations and demonstrations of support, but instead of troops guarding refinaries from looting and removal of information. Of course the history of sabotage and looting in similar situations (see Venezuela) was not mentioned alongside these menacing pictures either
This at a time when the impotence of our own Government's ability to formulate a coherent energy policy became increasingly clear. Republican attempts to buy off voters with a $100 check got dismissed - and Democratic ideas for more studies and tax breaks was revealed as the waste they were.
The days of media hoopla finally subsided when the regions affected leaders came together in Puerto Iguazu and agreed on a way forward and dismissed the notion that Bolivia's policy had caused a rift. And tax and pricing changes would be negotiated and investments would be compensated. But in the end one thing is sure - the mountains of profits the ol and gas companies had stacked in Bolivia due to the overly generous privitization regime of the 90s was finally at the end of its rope.