[Marxism] A pen-l'er on Bolivia

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Nov 7 09:44:18 MST 2006

"Complete Victory":  I don't know whether that phrase is more blind 
faith or no faith.  :-)

Meanwhile, the government has still given out very little information 
about the deal.  It may be that we will never be told (in the 3rd 
world these agreements often have confidentiality clauses, but those 
countries usually don't have progressive governments).

I admit to feeling uncomfortable about the secrecy.  This may be 
Bolivia's most important decision in a 50 year period and Bolivians 
fought long and hard in the "Gas Wars" for a better deal (actually, 
they fought under the slogan of leaders like Morales and Felipe 
Quispe, for nationalization).  The public should feel they have some 
role in the decision and, above all, one can't build a long term 
movement without some degree of popular participation.

[In a global context, Wolfowitz, Blair and the G8 are making a big 
push on "transparency" over the *use* of petro/gas income by 
"developing" countries (the Extractive Industries Transparency 
Initiative, EITI) and their are joined by  Soros, Transparency 
International, etc.

Yet these groups carefully exclude calls for transparency and "civil 
society" participation in the assessment and approval process of 
contracts with private companies.  90% of 3rd world oil production 
remains nationalized and the push for such privatizing contracts 
(Production Sharing Agreements, which is what 100% of Bolivia 
production will still be subject to) is one of the "West"s  highest 
priorites - so the World Bank and official finance agencies are 
usually key participants in these non-transparent contracts.  They 
could improve the rules with one stroke of a pen.]

I won't cross post my comments on a sister list about the details we 
know so far about Bolivia (which were a bit more detailed than what I 
posted last week on pen-l).  But I have just seen a blog of an energy 
analyst from the Open Center in Cochabamba which provides an 
assessment similar to mine on some of this (but Pen-l heard it first :-) )
Read the 3 comments as well.


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