Monday, May 15, 2006

Mr. Rasmussen sees a big ghost! UPDATED

(And we'll never call Carlsberg freedom beer!)

At the meeting for heads of state in Vienna last week Mr. Rasmussen expressed concern about the Bolivian nationalisation of oil and gas. This is nationalisation! And of all days in the year Mr Morales has chosen that ominous day in May when the trees in Denmark turn green. Mr. Rasmussen sees the big old ghost of socialism, which is the opposite of his own ideology of liberalist conservatism. The minister for development assistance in the Fogh Rasmussen government, Ulla Tørnæs, has voiced similar concerns. She has talked of stopping aid to the Latin American country. It is a so-called "programme cooperation country", that means that it has been singled out for assistance from Denmark. It receives some 25 mio. $ yearly from Denmark. If the country loses that money it'll be even more necessary that it gets a higher price for its gas to Brazil and its oil.

This is really incredible!!!

Bolivia is nationalising its resources underground! Who else should be the proprietors of these resources and the land under which they are posited - if not Bolivia and the Bolivian people? The prices of the Bolivian oil and gas are far below world market prices! The Bolivian move - taken symbolically on May 1st - is primarily an attempt on the part of the poorest country in South America to get a decent price for its resources. In Denmark per capita income is some 45.000 $ a year (Denmark is one of the richest countries in the world), in Bolivia average income is about 900 $ per capita. Bolivia and Evo Morales stand for all the principles given a high priority in Danish development assistance: Indigenous rights, poverty, the rights of women, and promotion of democracy. This is not a dictator we're dealing with. Morales was elected by the Bolivian people. 53 per cent of the Bolivian voters wanted to get the first Indian as president in the otherwise "white" controlled and dominated country.

What is the real reason for the Danish attitude? Mr. Rasmussen talked of the "necessity of a stable investment climate". In that way he turns international capital and investors into the arbiters of last resort of what is acceptable and what is desirable in the international system. We are to be governed by the logic of capital, of big business. The TNC's are the masters of this world! But was that what Danish voters wanted when they voted for the Rasmussen government? That is quite questionable.

Evo Morales spoke to the European Parliament Monday before leaving Paris. In his speech he defended his government's policy of nationalising the gas by saying, according to Bolivian paper La Razon: "We do not expropriate. Nor do we kick anybody out." The nationalization might be viewed as a way of preventing Bolivian emigration to Europe, because more jobs would be created in the country, when it could industrialise on the basis of utilization of its own resources.
It was only the left wing of the European Parliament assembly that attended Morales' speech. Representatives of the Spanish conservative party, Partido Popular, had walked out. Only the chairman of the group and a few parliamentarians from this group stayed. Evo Morales said he felt humiliated by this. "It is necessary with dialogue", he said. He expressed admiration for the EU and said that the Latin American nations ought to emulate the European Union.


Blogger Sophia said...

I tell you. The 'war on terror' is a way of promoting agressively economic globalization and eating out the resources of weak countries. Latin America knows best its neighbour and reacted acccordingly and quickly !

8:22 AM  

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