The Week that Was – Bolivian Blogs

What would happen with the fast approaching deadline that required all oil companies operating in Bolivia to renegotiate their contracts? This deadline was set in accordance to the decree of nationalization of the hydrocarbons that sought to give back ownership back to the state. Many speculated that the companies would pack up their bags and refuse to make any new investments. Many in the government were confident that it would eventually get done. Over the course of the last week, all of the companies “migrated” their contracts, which, according to the government would generate more revenue for the state. Even Brazilian President Ignacio Lula da Silva, whose state company Petrobras was affected, applauded the new agreements. These contracts have yet to be made public and still must be ratified by the Congress. Many Bolivian bloggers are excited about this news.

Boliviscopio’s [ES] Jaime Humérez Seleme lauds the historical migration of contracts. He also references President Lula’s “what was the big fuss” attitude in regards to this negotiation, when he said to some journalists, “You all perceived that there was a problem with Bolivia and that people that thought that I would be tough with Bolivia. Well, last night we reached an agreement. Why fight when one can have a good negotiation?”

Others who have supported the President Evo Morales in the past, such as Sergio Asturizaga congratulated this accomplishment and that there will be the much needed legal security for the companies.

While some bloggers, who were critical about other actions in this government, thought that this accomplishment was praiseworth. Andres Pucci, in his self-titled blog, wrote:

Por primera ves me gusta algo que ha hecho este gobierno, por que coincide con lo que prometió en la campaña, nacionalizar los hidrocarburos para beneficio del país y de sus habitantes.

For the first time, I like something that this government has done, because it coincides with a campaign promise – nationalize the hydrocarbons for the benefit of the country and its people.

Miguel Buitrago of MABB still wants to check things out before making a judgement. However, he writes, “I haven't looked at it in detail, but on the fly I am thinking, if the companies agreed to this conditions, if they agreed to keep investing, and if they said this deal is benefitial for them. Also, if the deal is benefitial for Bolivia, I'd say, way to go Evo.”

Finally, Halloween has steadily seeped into the mainstream Bolivian culture, much to the dismay of one Bolivian blogger. The blogger that goes by the initial “E” and blogs at Voz Boliviana [ES] was okay that this celebration took place at the Centro Boliviano-Americano, which is like a little piece of U.S. territory in Bolivia and in the North American-style schools. However, he doesn’t like to see that Halloween often trumps the traditional feast of Todos Santos (All Saints), which is a way to honor and welcome back deceased loved ones and that Bolivians should find a way to maintain these traditions.

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