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"Gas Wars": South America Takes Russiaand the Ukraineas an Example

"Gas Wars": South America Takes Russiaand the Ukraineas an Example
Philin Vladimir 20.07.2006

As it is known the president of Bolivia Evo Morales is an idol of people with the left view on things all over the world. At that not long ago declared nationalisation of the gas branch had added him popularity. That measure was introduced as “the strongest blow on the American imperialism”.

In reality interests of the American imperialism in Boliviaare not so badly going on. Notwithstanding a change of power and to the great degree thanks to it, taking into account former activity of a number of present leaders of the country in the field of coca leaves growing, this poorest state of South America keeps the second place in the world in illegal export of cocaine in the USA with confidence being inferior only to Columbia. Meanwhile, as it is well known to the specialists, the lion’s share of smuggling operations with the drugs in the western hemisphere has been long ago and safely "fronted" by the American CIA. That is “anti-imperialist” rhetoric doesn’t interfere in the least with the secret “business collaboration” of “swore antagonists”.

Gas – is a different thing, it occupies in the national economy of Boliviaequally important place as cocaine. The main consumers of the Bolivian gas are two economically fast developing powers of the continent – Braziland Argentinaare. While the leading investors of the gas branch of Boliviahave been and still are the companies from the countries of the European Unity as well as Argentines and Brazilians.

In other words, an expirement of the Bolivian authorities with nationalisation of the gas industry didn’t hit the USAat all causing a great damage the neighbour contries which – especially Brazil– more and more often bring themselves into the world markets as global competitors to the Americans. So that to regulate somehow situation in the gas sphere unsuccessfull negotiations between representatives of Braziland Boliviawere held in Bolivian town Santa-Cruz last week, the theme of negotiations was compensation to the Brazilian companies for the loss of investments in Bolivia.

The main core of the discord between the sides is in non-accordance of the Brazilian oil state company "Petroleo Brasileiro SA" - "Petrobras" to increase purchasing prices which the government of Boliviadecided to increase in 60%. On the eve of negotiations the Minister of mines and coal resourses of Bolivia Andres Solis having underlined rigid position of his government in this question at the same time announced about possible consessions to the Brazilians. According to him, introduction of new rates could be postponed till October-November when presidential elections in Brazilwould take place.

In other words, Solis took attempt to transfer economic dispute into political angle. Say that Boliviawon’t prevent the present left president of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lulu da Silva from winning on elections 1 and, possibly, on the 22nd of October – of his main competitor – former governor of San Paulo state Geraldo Alkmin, after the elections Lulu in acknowledgement of “understanding” will agree on the extortion in their essence demands of the neighbors-blackmailer.

It’s necessary to note that to the credit of Lulu’s supporters such behaviour of “fighters with the American imperialism” provoked nothing but indignation as as well as from the part of the Brazilians. On the contrary as an answer to the blackmail supporters of Alkmin and the members of Lulu’s command started speaking about necessity to raise local gas production to the volume of 24.2 milliardes cubic meters to the year 2008. That will cover import from Boliviawhich makes up now approximately 25 milliardes cubic meters annually. Breakthrough in energy sphere Brazilians want to let true generally due to the alternative methods of gas extraction.

Meanwhile for the Bolivians the loss of the main consumer and financial partner threaten with the most serious financial-economic crisis. More than that it’s not excluded that to the next elections in this poor country the economy will be once again brought to the production of coca leaves and cocaine export under the "front" of CIA in which its former leaderswere so skilled in their time. However, the hope remains that quite pragmatic president of Bolivia Evo Morales will have time to correct his ministers who probably have lost connections with the reality.

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