Bolivia nationalizes electricity

This video says about itself:

Hope and change in Bolivia in an era of water privatisation.

Water Rising is a feature-length documentary about family, community, hope and change in Bolivia during an era of water privatisation.

Filmed entirely in Bolivia, the film shares intimate portraits of people living in a ramshackle city where, despite an abundance of freshwater, they struggle for the right to access clean, safe and affordable water.

Another video used to say says about itself:

Extract from The Corporation documentary about the 2000 Cochabamba water wars. The Bolivian people took to the streets after the water giant, Bechtel, took over the public water infrastructure. The privatization of the water in Bolivia was a condition of loan from the World Bank.

From the Buenos Aires Herald in Argentina:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Morales announces expropriation of REE shares in Bolivia

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced the expropriation of the Red Eléctrica Española (REE) shares at a power transmission company in Bolivia and ordered the Army to take over the firm’s headquarters.

“As a fair homage to the workers and the Bolivian people that has fought for the recovery of their natural resources and basic services, we nationalize the Power Transmission company” (TDE), Morales assured during the May Day rally at the Government Palace in La Paz. The measure was announced in the midst of the tension generated between Argentina and Rajoy’s government over the expropriation of YPF.

The Head of State made the announcement a few hours before the inauguration of the gas processing plant at Southern Bolivia along with the President of Repsol oil company, Antonio Brufau, which will allow an increase of exports to Argentina.

The decree sets the “nationalization” of the “shares that form the stock of shares of the International Energy Mains-SAU,” subsidiary of REE.

Morales justified the expropriation by assuring that “this Spaniard international company has barely invested 81 million dollars in 16 years, an average investment of five millions per year,” which he considered insufficient.

Red Electrica officials were not immediately available for comment, but a Spanish government source in Madrid said authorities were in touch with La Paz to discuss technical and diplomatic aspects of the nationalization.

In 2006, Morales used the May 1 holiday to announce the takeover of petroleum companies operating in Bolivia. He later nationalized oil and gas reserves to redistribute wealth to the landlocked country’s indigenous majority.

Some background: from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, Bolivia was a colony of the Spanish empire. The empire brought serfdom for the indigenous people and exploitation of Bolivia’s gold mines and other resources.

More recently, pro-capitalist Bolivian governments (before Morales was elected) privatised resources like electricity and water. This led to huge price rises for poor people; and to resistance in the form of the “water wars“, when the Rightist regime tried to push through the privatisations with bloody crackdowns.

Argentinian MPs voted on Thursday to take back the country’s main energy firm from its Spanish owners Repsol: here.

Anarchy reigns as water companies continue to leak millions of litres of water while we keep filling the pockets of their shareholders: here.

6 thoughts on “Bolivia nationalizes electricity

  1. This is a LONG subject.

    The Central American republics attracted a lot of United Fruit (and Standard Fruit) capital, but they are still poor.

    India in the seventeenth century had a stronger textile industry than Britain, until it was conquered by the British East Indies Company, which brought in capital, but left most Indians poor.

    The United States became a major economic power in the nineteenth century while they hindered foreign capital from taking over.

    By the way, the URL in your comment is

    This is the URL of your old blog which does not exist any more. Please use your new blog URL to prevent dead links.


  2. United Fruit had Dulles for a benefactor, which is why they got so much support from the US. Anyone against United Fruit was labeled a communist and faced the full weight and rath of the CIA.


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