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The Forum > Article Comments > Spotlight on Bolivia > Comments

Spotlight on Bolivia : Comments

By Greg Barns, published 4/11/2005

Greg Barns discusses the upcoming Bolivian elections.

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Bolivia obviously is having difficulty in enabling a fair and reasonable life for its society, which is composed of 9 million people - or thereabouts.
Whoever takes over the political reins heading forward towards 2050 is going to find it ever-more difficult to maintain the existing standard of living, let alone improve it. Whatever advances are made, the rate of yearly improvement will need to be in excess of rate of population increase.
It is hard to imagine that the projected population for 2050, at over 15 million, will have it any better than the current 9 million.
Posted by colinsett, Monday, 7 November 2005 9:43:05 AM
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Colinsett is absolutely correct to have raised the important question of population levels that is so often overlooked when considering issues of international equity. Even if Evo Morales were to do everything he promised - and I hope he does - it would count for little if its population were to continue to grow, as is now expected from 9 million to 15 million by 2050.

Still, it's also important that the oil corporations who are effectively stealing Bolivia's wealth in non-renewable natural gas, be told to back off and stop attempting to undermine the sovereignty of the Bolivian people.

Of this, Daphne Eviatar writes, in an article "Bolivia's Home-Grown President", of 21 Dec 05 :

"Under their current contracts and the 1996 hydrocarbons law that privatized the industry, private companies had virtually complete control over the production and sale of oil and gas, and paid only 18 percent royalties and no taxes--a deal that even government and industry insiders who helped write the law and negotiate the contracts now privately admit is a bad deal for Bolivia.

"Still, almost every major oil company ... has already threatened to bring a claim in international arbitration against Bolivia. And if Morales nationalizes the industry, under the terms of the bilateral investment treaties between Bolivia and the companies' home countries, they could sue ... for not only the approximately $3.5 billion private companies have already invested in the natural gas industry here but also for the loss of expected profits, which could total tens of billions of dollars."

Posted by daggett, Tuesday, 3 January 2006 1:06:22 AM
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