A welcome blow to Western multinationals in Latin America:
Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, last night ordered his soldiers to occupy the country’s natural gas fields immediately and threatened to evict foreign companies unless they sign new contracts within six months giving the state majority control over petroleum production.
Mr Morales said soldiers and engineers with Bolivia’s state-owned oil company would be sent to installations operated by foreign petroleum companies.
Britain’s BG Group and BP, as well as the US-based Exxon Mobil, are among those firms operating in Bolivia.
“The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources,” Mr Morales said in a speech from the San Alberto petroleum field in southern Bolivia.
The region is currently undergoing a revolution. Expect America to intervene. After all, democracy isn’t on Washington’s agenda if natural resources are threatened.