Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bolivia -Big Fallout & Chavez Betrayal???

The bad news continues from the Mercosur Conference, where Bolivia's neighbors and trading partners seem to be punishing Bolivia from the mess left from both 'gas wars'. Much to the Bolvian Foreign Ministries surprise, bigwigs from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru met in Lima prior to the conference, to seriously work on a framework to what loosely translates as the "South American Energy Ring "anillo energético" with the ultimate goal of the Continent becoming self-sufficient in natural gas. As France Presse reports, the initial stage involves laying a 1200 km pipeline from Northern Chile to the Peruvian gas fields of Camisea, at a reported cost of 2.5 billion dollars, and which the Inter-American bank has decided to finance. The increased gas production and build up of the infraestructure, could could then allow it to be routed to Brazil and Argentina.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out this keeps Bolivia out in the cold, even with the second largest gas reserves in the Continent. The original project that started the first gas war, called for Bolvian gas to be exported through a pipeline to Chile, where it could be exported to Mexico and the U.S. as well as bought by Chile. Exports to Brazil and Argentina were to increase, and new pipelines were in the works to both countries. But now, Bolivia is considered so unstable that its neighbors are willing to cough up big money for further exploration in Peru, which has less reserves than Bolivia.

And for the clincher...

Chavez wants in to this deal, and said so publically at Mercosur. with its large gas reserves, Venezuela would be able to pipe gas to Brazil the biggest consumer in the continent, as well as to its other neighbors, in effect cutting Bolivia further out. Bolivia's ex-President Quiroga pointed out Chavez inconsistency in wanting a chunk of the business, after his backing of the protests that caused the mess.

El "anillo energético" implicará, en los hechos, el suministro de gas peruano a los países del Mercosur a través del gasoducto desde Pisco (Perú) hasta Tocopilla (norte de Chile), dejando a Bolivia, por su inestabilidad institucional, en un segundo plano.


Alvaro RN said...

There is no inconsistency in Chavez's words. The reason behind his financing Bolivia's Gas Wars has always been the control of all the energetic resources in the region. So, if his protege Evo wins the conflict, he will just be a Chavez puppet and Chavez will have complete control over South America's energetic resources. On the other hand, if Evo does not win, he can always take advantage of Bolivia's instability to push Bolivia out of any energetic deal in the region - as in the "ring" plans.

So, as you can see, there is no way for Chavez to lose. That is the genius of his plan.

Anonymous said...


You give Chavez way too much credit. The guy is just a small time guy who just doesn't play Washington's game because he still can. And THAT makes him a problem.

Pretty amazing lack of mental freedom here, Chavez is just a little worm who happens to hold something the emprire needs and is playing his cards in a somewhat intelligent manner.

But don't believe the empire's lie that this guy is another hussein, if you do, you are giving them a cart blanche to place the dreaded word "terrorist" next to Chavez's name and bolia! we have another little war..

Wake up guys...

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