President Evo Morales ordered soldiers to occupy Bolivia's natural gas fields Monday and threatened to evict foreign companies unless they give Bolivia control over the entire chain of production.It all about the MONEY! Even in a would be socialist workers paradise...
The move fulfills an election promise by the leftist president, who has forged close ties with Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela' Hugo Chavez, to increase state control over Bolivia's natural resources, which he says have been "looted" by foreign companies.
Morales sent soldiers and engineers with Bolivia's state-owned oil company to installations and fields tapped by foreign companies — including Britain's BG Group PLC and BP PLC, Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA, France's Total SA and Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. The companies have six months to agree to new contracts or leave Bolivia, he said.
"The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources," Morales, Bolivia's first Indian president, said in a speech from the San Alberto field operated by Petrobras in association with Repsol and Total SA.
State television aired footage of soldiers and police standing guard outside some gas installations and petroleum company offices in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, where much of the industry is based. (emphasis added)
UPDATE: More info here.