March 13, 2012 by Patrick Hall
“[The Bolivian government] will seize more oil companies if they fail to meet investment commitments”.
– President Evo Morales on February 29th
For the sixth time in as many years, Bolivia is poised to nationalize more of its natural resource-based industries; a primary focus of the Morales administration since coming to power in 2006. For five years, the government – to the citizenry’s fanfare – has taken control of much of the country’s oil, gas, and mining industries; a transition justified by the government in that these sectors are integral for the nation’s survival.
Behind the most recent push for nationalization is the government’s perception that foreign corporations are “sabotaging investment”, which is stymieing the country’s ability to “increase production”. The rationale, however, has fallen on deaf ears.