Bolivia and Venezuela put the squeeze on oil companies


Venezuela started energy revolution: Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, the region’s largest oil producer, started the energy revolution by imposing tougher operating terms and retrospective tax increases. He had three objectives: implementing a populist manifesto, boosting oil income and tweaking the US’s cheek. He increased tension by strengthening links with Fidel Castro and underwriting the Cuban economy by supplying cheap oil.

Bolivia to control all natural resources: Now President Morales has shown his hand, to popular acclaim. On May Day he unveiled a program of state control that went further than oil. He declared: "This is just the start: tomorrow or the day after it will be mining, then the forestry sector and eventually all the natural resources for which our ancestors fought." The trio – Chavez, Morales and Castro – are attempting to reduce US influence, which favours the forces of conservatism, in the region. They have considerable populist appeal.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 4/5/2006, p. 22

Source: Erisk Net  

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