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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:13 AM
Original message
Bolivia abandons oil and gas nationalization drive
Bolivia's government has announced Repsol, British Gas, and Pan American Energy, foreign oil companies from Spain, Great Britain, and Argentina, will develop a large gas field and build a gas plant to treat the gas, which the companies intend to export to Argentina. The construction actitivies will be carried out by a Spanish company. As reported by the International Herald Tribune: "YPFB President Carlos Villegas attended the signing ceremony and thanked the firms for their investment commitment". The news means the highly controversial move by Bolivia to mimic Venezuela's "nationalization" drive has been put on hold, or reversed.

Maybe the Bolivians see what's happening to Venezuela's economy as Chavez tries to turn Venezuela towards his bizarre "socialism of the 21st century". Venezuela, with record inflation for the hemisphere, and one of the worst economic performances in the world, is suffering from serious mismanagement, and gradual erosion of human rights, as the communists try to consolidate power in spite of popular opposition to their ideas.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is this a news story? Do you have a link?
Can't tell what part is a news story and what part is OP's commentary. :shrug:

After a now tombstoned sockpuppet was posting stories here with personal ax grinding embedded within the posted story, it would be good to know which is which.

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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I did refer you to the heral tribune, but here's the link
I quoted from the paper, and I added my comments.

I checked some of these companies' statements about what they do in Bolivia, as far as I can tell the Morales government backtracked and those nationalizations never did take place. And this may be one reason why they are going ahead with investments. I don't see the same thing happening in Venezuela, the papers report there's significant capital flight and no foreign investment at all. Happy trails.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Thanks for the link.
And for clarifying that some of the OP was of your own creation.

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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Some of it? Most of it is my writing
I put in quotes what I felt was useful. Do you have a problem with original writing on this blog?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Any quote from ANOTHER source requires a link. n/t
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Really? Why?
If I say I picked it up from a paper, and I use quotation marks, it's pretty easy for anybody with a search engine to copy the quote and go to the article. So why clutter the blog with references? Some blogs don't even allow it at all, they like for people to minimize cut and paste, and links, prefer original writing, and don't want to get into copyright violations.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Take it up with the people who both operate and attend message boards. It's standard. n/t
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. More than enough creative writing already by the wingers here.
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 01:58 PM by Mika
"So why clutter the blog with references?"

This area of DU isn't a blog. These are the discussion forums.

If you feel the need for creative writing blogging, start your DU journal and then link to it - unless you're posting to DU's Creative Writing discussion forum. ;)

It is customary to provide links to the sources used here on DU's discussion forums - simply to provide the entire context of the quotes provided (and to validate the genuineness of them, cuz as you know, there have been phakers here).

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Not having prior exposure to serious discussion forums might explain why we have seen some
peculiar sloppiness, haphazard, overly personalized use (misuse) of these threads.

The only credible discussion possible comes from actual information, not impromptu claims, and free-style circle jerks.

I suspect some participants haven't been involved in serious forums before now. Anyone who has seen the difference would probably choose the method which provides actual information or it's simply not worth our time, right?

I'm inclined to hope we will continue to pool our information when we find it, and increase our exposure to our common results in our searches. It's always a win-win for us.
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naaman fletcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. This is best i can find:
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Interesting how they split up the ownership
I see in this article they report

"The consortium that will develop the Caipipendi block comprises Repsol, the operator with a 37.5 percent stake; BG, with a 37.5 percent share; and Pan American Energy, with 25 percent."

This means the Bolivian state company has no interest in the project. This confirms they are no longer interested in nationalizing the industry, but they probably won't be saying much about it. Evo Morales seems to have a very pragmatic group of advisors, they wave their flag but behind the scenes they work in a pragmatic fashion with multinationals, to make sure the Bolivian economy stays on its feet. I think Correa is starting to get the same message in Ecuador. Even Cuba has announced they are privatizing their farms. Which leaves out Venezuela as the odd example of a country running backwards right over a cliff.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Cuba didn't only recently do this: it's been going on for YEARS.
Here's a quick result from a tiny look in google. If I had more time I wanted to spin I could go back farther than this, but this one will do very well:
Cuba giving land to private farmers
Idea is to revolutionize farming, one tiny plot at a time

updated 4/5/2008 9:55:36 PM ET

A farmer collects tomatoes on a tractor in a farm in Guira de Melena,
80 miles south of Havana on Wednesday. Cuba has begun lending
unused land to private farmers and cooperatives as part of a sweeping
effort to step up agricultural production.

GUIRA DE MELENA, Cuba In a country where almost everyone works for the communist state, dairy farmer Jesus Diaz is his own boss. He likes it that way and so does the government.

Living on a plot of land just big enough to graze four dairy cows, Diaz produces enough milk to sell about four quarts a day to the state.

This is independent production on a tiny scale, but it has proved so efficient that Cuba has decided on a major expansion of its program to distribute underused and fallow farmland to private farmers and cooperatives.

"It's a way for the land to end up in the hands of those who want to produce. I see it as a very good thing," said Diaz, 45. He received his land and cows from the state in 1996, and now hopes to get access to more property.

The government is preparing for a "massive distribution of land," Orlando Lugo, president of Cuba's national farming association, said last week. Private farmers have begun receiving land for the cash crops of coffee and tobacco, and will soon be able to lease state land for other crops.

More: /


Innovation Gives Boost to Small Farmers
By Dalia Acosta

SAN ANDRS, Cuba, Jan 9 , 2008 (IPS) - Cuban small farmers are strengthening their traditional ties with the land through a farming project that links scientific know-how with ancestral techniques and encourages greater local autonomy in decision-making on food production.

The Programme for Local Agrarian Innovation (PIAL), in effect since 2000, could offer an alternative for the agriculture industry in Cuba, where around half of the countrys fertile land is not cultivated, even though more than 1.5 billion dollars in food products are imported annually to meet domestic demand.

"The aim is for farmers to have a say in the design of the countrys agricultural policies," PIAL director Humberto Ros told IPS. "Its an example that we want to give of how, when farmers have a more active voice and are the ones engaged directly in innovation, the country makes greater progress."

For Ros, a researcher at the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (INCA), which has promoted the initiative from the very start, "what is needed is the development of a more decentralised system of innovation, where the key actors are not us scientists, but farmers themselves."

According to Ros, the research has been circumscribed to scientific institutes due to the lack of resources and of determination to disseminate the results and make them more widely available,

"It is assumed that an extension worker will teach the techniques to the farmers, but that doesnt work, either in Cuba or abroad," he said.

PIALs experience, said the expert, has demonstrated that, "when it is the farmers themselves who design the experiments and process and make available the scientific information, the land begins to bear more fruits."

The programme only requires a commitment to share seeds and distribute them free of charge at the so-called "diversity fairs," said Yong. "Participants have total freedom to experiment; they adopt and adapt techniques to their particular conditions - whatever brings the best results."

In seven years, PIAL has benefited, in nine of Cubas 14 provinces, some 8,000 farmers, who represent two percent of the countrys small and medium-sized agricultural producers. The aim is to raise that proportion to 10 percent over the next five years.



Cuba: A Successful Case Study of Sustainable Agriculture
Posted January 13th, 2005 by Michael Manoochehri

Chapter 12, pp. 203-213, in: Hungry for Profit: The
Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food and the Environment, edited by
Fred Magdoff, John Bellamy Foster and Frederick H. Buttel (New York: Monthly
Review Press, 2000).


A Brief History

Economic development in Cuba was molded by two external
forces between the 1959 revolution and the 1989-90 collapse of trading
relations with the Soviet bloc. One was the U.S. trade embargo, part of
an effort to isolate the island economically and politically. The other
was Cuba's entry into the Soviet bloc's international trade alliance with
relatively favorable terms of trade. The U.S. embargo essentially forced
Cuba to turn to the Soviet bloc, while the terms of trade offered by the
latter opened the possibility of more rapid development on the island
than in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Thus Cuba was able to achieve a more complete and rapid
modernization than most other developing countries. In the 1980s it ranked
number one in the region in the contribution of industry to its economy
and it had a more mechanized agricultural sector than any other Latin
American country. Nevertheless, some of the same contradictions that modernization
produced in other third world countries were apparent in Cuba, with Cuba's
development model proving ultimately to be of the dependent type. Agriculture
was defined by extensive monocrop production of export crops and a heavy
dependence on imported agrichemicals, hybrid seeds, machinery, and petroleum.
While industrialization was substantial by regional standards, Cuban industry
depended on many imported inputs.

The Cuban economy as a whole was thus characterized by
the contradiction between its relative modernity and its function in the
Soviet bloc's division of labor as a supplier of raw agricultural commodities
and minerals, and a net importer of both manufactured goods and foodstuffs.
In contrast to the situation faced by most third world countries, this
international division of labor actually brought significant benefits
to the Cuban people. Prior to the collapse of the socialist bloc, Cuba
had achieved high marks for per capita GNP, nutrition, life expectancy,
and women in higher education, and was ranked first in Latin America for
the availability of doctors, low infant mortality, housing, secondary
school enrollment, and attendance by the population at cultural events.

The Cuban achievements were made possible by a combination
of the government's commitment to social equity and the fact that Cuba
received far more favorable terms of trade for its exports than did the
hemisphere's other developing nations. During the 1980s Cuba received
an average price for its sugar exports to the Soviet Union that was 5.4
times higher than the world price. Cuba also was able to obtain Soviet
petroleum in return, part of which was re-exported to earn convertible
currency. Because of the favorable terms of trade for sugar, its production
far outweighed that of food crops. About three times as much land was
devoted to sugar in 1989 as was used for food crops, contributing to a
pattern of food dependency, with as much as 57 percent of the total calories
in the Cuban diet coming from imports.

The revolutionary government had inherited an agricultural
production system strongly focused on export crops grown on highly concentrated
land. The first agrarian reform of 1959 converted most of the large cattle
ranches and sugarcane plantations into state farms. Under the second agrarian
reform in 1962, the state took control of 63 percent of all cultivated

Even before the revolution, individual peasant producers
were a small part of the agricultural scene. The rural economy was dominated
by export plantations, and the population as a whole was highly urbanized.

That pattern intensified in subsequent years, and by the late 1980s fully
69 percent of the island's population lived in urban areas. As late as
1994 some 80 percent of the nation's agricultural land consisted of large
state farms, which roughly correspond to the expropriated plantation holdings
of the pre-revolutionary era. Only 20 percent of the agricultural land
was in the hands of small farmers, split almost equally among individual
holders and cooperatives, yet this 20 percent produced more than 40 percent
of domestic food production. The state farm sector and a substantial portion
of the cooperatives were highly modernized, with large areas of monocrops
worked under heavy mechanization, fertilizer and pesticide use, and large-scale
irrigation. This style of farming, originally copied from the advanced
capitalist countries by the Soviet Union, was highly dependent on imports
of machinery, petroleum, and chemicals. When trade collapsed with the
socialist bloc, the degree to which Cuba relied on monocrop agriculture
proved to be a major weakness of the revolution.

By mid-1993, the state was faced with a complex reality.
Imported inputs were largely unavailable, but nevertheless the small farmer
sector had effectively adapted to low input production (although a secondary
problem was acute in this sector, namely diversion of produce to the black
market). The state sector, on the other hand, was proving itself to be
an ineffective "white elephant" in the new historical conjuncture, incapable
of adjusting. The earlier success of the experimental "linking" program,
however, and the success of the peasant sector, suggested a way out. In
September 1993 Cuba began radically reorganizing its production in order
to create the small-scale management units that are essential for effective
organic-style farming. This reorganization has centered on the privatization
and cooperativization of the unwieldy state sector.

The process of linking people with the land thus culminated
in 1993, when the Cuban government issued a decree terminating the existence
of state farms, turning them into Basic Units of Cooperative Production
(UBPCs), a form of worker-owned enterprise or cooperative. The 80 percent
of all farmland that was once held by the state, including sugarcane plantations,
has now essentially been turned over to the workers.

The UBPCs allow collectives of workers to lease state
farmlands rent free, in perpetuity. Members elect management teams that
determine the division of jobs, what crops will be planted on which parcels,
and how much credit will be taken out to pay for the purchase of inputs.
Property rights remain in the hands of the state, and the UBPCs must still
meet production quotas for their key crops, but the collectives are owners
of what they produce. Perhaps most importantly, what they produce in excess
of their quotas can now be freely sold on the newly reopened farmers markets.
This last reform, made in 1994, offered a price incentive to farmers both
to sell their produce through legal channels rather than the black market,
and also to make effective use of the new technologies.

The pace of consolidation of the UBPCs has varied greatly
in their first years of life. Today one can find a range from those where
the only change is that the old manager is now an employee of the workers,
to those that truly function as collectives, to some in which the workers
are parceling the farms into small plots worked by groups of friends.
In almost all cases, the effective size of the management unit has been
drastically reduced. It is still too early to tell toward what final variety
of structures the UBPCs will evolve. But it is clear that the process
of turning previously alienated farm workers into farmers will take some
timeit simply cannot be accomplished overnightand many UBPCs
are struggling. Incentives are a nagging problem. Most UBPCs are stuck
with state production contracts for export crops like sugar and citrus.
These still have fixed, low prices paid by state marketing agencies, in
contrast to the much higher prices that can be earned for food crops.
Typical UBPCs, not surprisingly then, have low yields in their export
crops, but also have lucrative side businesses selling food produced on
spare land or between the rows of their citrus or sugarcane.

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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Maybe they are accelerating the movement towards capitalism
From what I can tell, they decided to use the marxist soviet union type economy, saw it was failing, and gradually, grinding their teeth, the have been moving towards a more privatized economy. But they still have a long way to go, of course. And as the country moves towards 21st century capitalism, the communist party sure loses legitimacy, and becomes a dinosaur clinging to power for its own sake. They are less than worthless, I imagine the Cubans will kick them out as soon as they get weaker.

Talking about this trend, I just read Brazil is issuing more Petrobras stock. They are privatizing their crown jewels, a bit at a time. This tells me their government is seeing the light, and moving away from state-dominated enterprises to a more sensible arrangement.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. The land was almost all owned, prior to the revolution, by the large plantations,
most of them being owned and controlled by interests from people in other countries, like United Fruit, which became "Chiquita" in later days.

At that time, people did NOT own their own land, either. They merely worked on land, at slave labor wages, owned by strangers. Period. They had no running water, no adequate shelter, no sanitary conditions, no adquate food supplies, no medical treatement, no free education for their children. Any time they attempted to cultivate tiny pieces of land they could find to grow a few vegetables, the landowners destroyed their tiny crops as soon as they found them.

Why are you unaware of this? You would benefit by taking time to study the material.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. I'm not unaware of much
Why accuse me of being ignorant? So let's go over what happened, Cuba's land was owned and farmed by PRIVATE owners. They were small, medium, and large. Most of the good land was owned by large landowners. Some of it wasn't. The communists nationalized all of the land. They set up their standard communes, and in the process ruined Cuba's agriculture. The country became completely unable to feed itself. This isn't surprising, because it always happens when communists nationalize agriculture.

It seems the Soviet Union's collapse induced Castro to become somewhat pragmatic, and some reforms were carried out. It's also evident Raul is much more pragmatic - he would probably adopt the Chinese model in a heartbeat, but his older brother is a fanatic and won't face reality. So these privatizations are half baked, and Cuba fails to feed itself. This means it imports food from the US.

Anyhoo, this isn't really the main topic in this thread. The original topic was the change of heart the Bolivian government had. They are actively promoting private company projects in which the state oil company has no actual interest (that article we saw says they don't). The Bolivians probably read the tea leaves, saw how Brazil is privatizing Petrobras (see the article about the Petrobras stock sale), and how the Venezuelan oil industry is in a shambles, and decided to be more like Lula, and less like Castro.

And this tells me there's a schism going on. On the one hand we have the radicals, Fidel Castro, who is nearly dead, holding the torch, and Chavez soldiering on with his little red-clad minions, Noriega is another wanabe little Stalin, but Nicaragua is poor, small, and doesn't count for much. Raul Castro, on the other hand, seems to be waiting for Fidel to die to turn things towards capitalism. Raul seems to be pretty cagey, is just trying to survive and outlive his brother. In Bolivia, Evo Morales seems to be a lot more pragmatic, and is not nationalizing the oil industry. In Brazil, Lula is leaving a very pragmatic heritage, in Argentina the Kirchner dinasty is dying, who knows, but I bet they'll shift to the center, and the Kirchners will be remembered as corrupt demagogues. Peru has Garcia, another pragmatic leftist. In Colombia we saw Santos win, and so the odd man out is Correa. What is he going to do, fall in the same trap as Chavez? I don't think so. Correa can see what's happening in Venezuela, where the economy is in a shambles and about to get a lot worse, and he's too smart to fall down that way. So I bet Correa, like Evo Morales, will become a lot more pragmatic.

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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. It's like entering a time warp

Stalin, communists, communism .....

You write:

On the one hand we have the radicals, Fidel Castro, who is nearly dead, holding the torch, and Chavez soldiering on with his little red-clad minions, Noriega is another wanabe little Stalin, but Nicaragua is poor, small, and doesn't count for much.


Since when has Noriega been ruling Nicaragua?

1989: U.S. invades PANAMA, overthrows former CIA-stooge Manuel Noriega. Throws him in prison, and recently extradited him to France.

2010: Two days ago, in Paris:

updated 6/28/2010 2:52:45 PM ET
Share Print Font: + - PARIS Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega went on trial in France on Monday for money laundering and appeared confused about the most basic of biographical information: his age.

Noriega took the stand only briefly to give his name and age, but the 76-year-old appeared feeble, his shoulders trembling uncontrollably as he addressed the three-judge panel. /


Pero entiendo, you obviously confused Noriega with Daniel Ortega ... :-)

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. The Cuban exile Batistanos will tell us how great Cuba was B.C. .... there were a lot of TVs.
One in every room of the master's plantation estate.


Before the 1959 Revolution

  • 75% of rural dwellings were huts made from palm trees.
  • More than 50% had no toilets of any kind.
  • 85% had no inside running water.
  • 91% had no electricity.
  • There was only 1 doctor per 2,000 people in rural areas.
  • More than one-third of the rural population had intestinal parasites.
  • Only 4% of Cuban peasants ate meat regularly; only 1% ate fish, less than 2% eggs, 3% bread, 11% milk; none ate green vegetables.
  • The average annual income among peasants was $91 (1956), less than 1/3 of the national income per person.
  • 45% of the rural population was illiterate; 44% had never attended a school.
  • 25% of the labor force was chronically unemployed.
  • 1 million people were illiterate ( in a population of about 5.5 million).
  • 27% of urban children, not to speak of 61% of rural children, were not attending school.
  • Racial discrimination was widespread.
  • The public school system had deteriorated badly.
  • Corruption was endemic; anyone could be bought, from a Supreme Court judge to a cop.
  • Police brutality and torture were common.

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:02 PM
    Response to Reply #16
    17. Great list, and accurate. Have you read Dr. Alberto Jones, and his descriptions of his own youth
    in the area where the Diaz-Balarts lived?

    The poor mothers would take their children and go to the back door of the plantations at night after the owners had dinner and sometimes the owners would pass out food they could use for their own dinners. Wow! Payday.

    Also mentioned was the fact that if one of the children would grow ill, the fathers or mothers would have to beg the master of the plantation to write a note of recommendation for them so they could be given permission to visit a doctor. Without it, they were strictly on their own.

    Work was seasonal. There was an open trench running past their house, a sewer river. How he must have hated to leave when it was possible!

    Thank you for your list. So odd it's not like the reflections offered by exilia!
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    Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:20 PM
    Response to Reply #16
    18. Who cares about Batista? That was 60 years ago
    That's ancient history. I just want to make a simple observation: communism a la Castro is a failure, and it seems only Venezuela and possibly Nicaragua are going to fall in communist hands. And they're likely to become economic basket cases, similar to North Korea, with self-perpetuating autocrats and populations migrating in large numbers from the "worker's paradise"
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:16 PM
    Response to Reply #18
    19. I was discussing the creative writings of wingers who don't provide links.
    I used the example of the winger exiles who tell (and report) tall tales that contradict the truth.

    That's why I asked for the link upthread.. and thanks for posting it.

    Sorry for the distraction from your topic. :hi:

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    Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 08:46 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    21. What's a winger? A right winger?
    What do you call a left winger?

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 09:16 AM
    Response to Reply #21
    22. Yes. A RWnut.
    Edited on Fri Jul-02-10 09:18 AM by Mika

    What do you call a left winger?



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    Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 11:04 AM
    Response to Reply #22
    23. And Bolivia abandons its nationalization drive
    Bolivia is allowing large multinationals to develop their fields. They're being very pragmatic. Did you notice Bolivia's economy is growing a little bit? This is because they're not ultra radical communists like the Venezuelans, who are using Castro's recipe. And Castro's recipe is poisonous. This is why Venezuela's economy is a basket case. So, we're back to where I started the thread.
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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 01:32 PM
    Response to Reply #23
    24. Never mind the pesky US extra territorial sanctions on Cuba only.
    Nonetheless, Cuba doesn't have the abject poverty of some other LatAm and Caribbean neighbors. Cubans have world class universal education exceeding many of Cuba's neighbors. Cubans have universal health care from pre natal to post death that exceed many of Cuba's neighbors.

    There are people all over this planet who would give their 'left one' to have Castro's poison any day.

    Its warped to think otherwise.

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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 01:43 PM
    Response to Reply #23
    25. Bolivia Vice President: No New Takeovers Outside Of Oil, Gas
    Bolivia Vice President: No New Takeovers Outside Of Oil, Gas

    SANTIAGO -(Dow Jones)- Bolivia's government doesn't foresee any more government takeovers outside the oil, gas and energy sectors, Vice President Alvaro Garcia said Thursday.

    The Andean nation, under the leadership of President Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous head of state, has taken over companies in the oil and gas and power-generation sectors.

    "In principle we don't forsee any more government takeovers in other ," Garcia told journalists after meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera at the presidential palace in Chile's capital, Santiago.

    In May, the Bolivian government took over the Corani SA, Guaracachi SA and Valle Hermoso SA electricity generators. Each of the Bolivian power companies had been 50% owned by the state, with the other halves held by Ecoenergy International, a subsidiary of France's GDF Suez SA (GSZ.FR), U.K.'s Rurelec PLC (RUR.LN), and the Bolivian Generating Group. Power distributor Empresa de Luz y Fuerza de Cochabamba, or Elfec, was also nationalized.

    "The government announced over four years ago that oil and gas, as well as electric companies, would return to state hands. And that's what has happened," Garcia said, adding, "we're in constant talks with the previous owners to set a fair price for those assets."
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    Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 04:31 PM
    Response to Reply #25
    28. Yep, they announced it, but they failed to carry it out
    Morales announced the supposed takeover. Chavez had pushed him in this direction, but Morales evidently surruounds himself with more pragmatic people, because, as we can see from news reports, Bolivia indeed turned away from such nationalization drives. They just kept it quiet. I'm not in Bolivia, I just read the news, and I keep reading references to oil companies being active in Bolivia and operating projects. The case in Venezuela is a little different, they didn't really nationalize the industry either, they did something a little weirder, but they did cause profound damage. According to Venezuelan friends, people who left Venezuela and are very knowledgeable, the oil industry has been destroyed, and today Venezuela doesn't have much going on, compared to what the government said they would do. Nobody wants to invest in Venezuela, and there's a lot of educated people leaving it.
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    Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 01:46 PM
    Response to Reply #23
    26. Morales for End of Capitalism to Save the Planet
    Morales for End of Capitalism to Save the Planet

    OTAVALO, ECUADOR - President of Bolivia Evo Morales highlighted on Friday the importance of unity to promote changes in Latin America and said that only the eradication of Capitalism will save planet Earth.

    In his speech at the Tenth Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Morales recalled that after so many years of fighting colonialism, now it is up to native peoples to fight US imperialism.

    In the meeting, attended by several presidents and indigenous and Afro-descendant authorities, Morales said that native peoples have to "move from resistance to seizing power to rule themselves."

    Morales insisted on the importance of an alliance among indigenous people, those of mixed race, artists, intellectuals and other social strata to step up ongoing transformations in the region.

    He recalled that Bolivia closed down US military bases and without any fear his government nationalized hydrocarbons and regained natural resources.

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    Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 02:13 PM
    Response to Reply #26
    27. Thanks for posting that.
    The more I read about Evo Morales the more I like him.

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