Thursday, May 26, 2005

Lula, Mesa, and a Lot of Gas

AccReuters says everything is out of control in La Paz, while the Lefties seem to suggest that things seem calmed down, amid coup rumors of course. But then again, that seems like old times in Bolivia, SNAFU.

Lula has sent a special 'envoy' Marco Aurelio Garcia to give him some sense of WTF is going on in Bolivia - and probably to cut some deals for Petrobas. Bolivia's Oil Minister sounds like he is trying to stall for time, as well as paying lip service to complying with the 'new' laws'.

This older article shows Mesa's earlier statements opposing the new law, but by not arguing forcefully against the project, Mesa let it pass by inertia, and probably saved himself some political grief. With his lack of institutional support he seems to not have many alternatives. His public statements indicating he will finish out his term, might be his way of setting the stage for a Yeltsin-like confrontation with just about everyone mobilized against him.

Some of those include the more extremist Aymara's seem to be on war footing, concentrating on La Paz arguing against the autonomy demands of Santa Cruz, which this Reuters, article says are heating things up further.