Bolivia: Morales nationalizes energy company
President Morales nationalizes energy company
Last Tuesday, President Morales passed the Decreto Supremo 1214 (decree), through which the state nationalized the stock shares of the Sociedad Red Eléctrica Internacional SAU (international electric network society), subsidiary of the Red Eléctrica Española (Spanish Electric Network – REE), within the Empresa Transportadora de Electricidad SA (electricity transportation company).
During a ceremony at the presidential palace in La Paz, Morales stated that his government took this decision in ‘homage of the workers and people of Bolivia who have struggled to recover natural resources and basic services’.
The move coincided with International Worker’s Day, the same day in which the nationalization of hydrocarbons, telecommunications and the plants of energy production is commemorated.
The Bolivian President explained that the decree will nationalize in favour of the Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (national electricity company – ENDE), in representation of the Plurinational Bolivian state, the stock shares owned by the Sociedad Red Eléctrica Internacional SAU, the Empresa Transportadora de Electricidad SA and the stock shares of third parties of the society.
Morales further stated that within the legal framework of the Constitution and the Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (National Development Plan), the government’s policy is directed toward regaining control, administration and direction of strategic companies.
He highlighted that the government is only regaining control over the Empresa Transportadora de Electricidad, which was a state property until 1997, when the state sold it. Morales asserted: ‘To clarify, this company was ours before and what was ours is now being nationalized.’
Today, the President of the Red Eléctrica de España (Spain’s Electricity Network – REE) José Folgado will arrive in Bolivia to commense negotiations regarding the compensation which the Spanish company is to receive for the nationalization of TDE (Transportadora de Electricidad).
The government confirmed that an independent study will present the real value of the company.
Indingeous ‘marchistas’ demand humanitarian observers
Last Monday, the IX indigenous mobilization for the TIPNIS re-started its march toward La Paz. The group walked three km until Los Puentes and it stayed at the doors of the municipality of San Ignacio de Moxos.
Around 300 indigenous people re-started the march with flags in their hands, after the bad weather stopped them in Varador on 27 April.
The IX march’s leaders announced that they will suit President Morales because of his double discourse about Mother Earth at the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Rio meeting-20.
After long days discussing the support of governors and the people of San Ignacio de Moxos for the IX march in defence of the TIPNIS, on Sunday the participants of this mobilization demanded the presence of church, human rights and media representatives when they cross through San Ignacio de Moxos.
In a phone call to Los Tiempos from Bermeo (around 40 km from San Ignacio de Moxos), Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez regretted that some leaders from the municipality of San Ignacio de Moxos are supporting the government’s intention to boycott the march.
Chavéz requested the presence of humanitarian organizations in order to avoid attacks like the one which occurred there last year during the VIII March.
Days prior, the mayor of San Ignacio de Moxos Bacilio Nolvani announced that local authorities and social organizations authorized the IX March to pass through the city, not allowing them to rest nor sleep in this municipality, however.
Morales suspends decree and calls summit
President Morales announced yesterday that he is suspending the Decreto Supremo 1126 which raises from six to eight hours the daily workload of health workers and medical doctors, and called for a national summit to discuss the ‘revolución de la salud pública’ (the revolution in the public health sector).
The two health groups on strike received the news with caution, considering that this is insufficient because they demand the decree’s voidance. This is the reason why they have announced that measures taken by the unions will continue and today they will be analysed.
In a televised statement Saturday President Morales announced the suspension of the decree which raises the daily workload of the groups on strike by two hours. He added that the summit he is proposing to discuss this measure in July ‘is not only to discuss eight hours of labour (…). This can also be a summit to completely change public health in Bolivia.’
Morales invited doctors, college students, health workers’ unions, social organizations and experts to prepare a proposal and join the meeting to devise a ‘new system of public and universal health’.
Morales also insisted that the discussed norm was not a government initiative: ‘I was convinced that I was following the mandate of the Bolivian people; I was convinced that this was a solution benefiting the most needed sectors in health, but I feel that there are some groups that are not accepting these deep changes to give more service to the Bolivian people on health.’