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EL ALTO HAS RISEN UP AGAINST THE REFERENDUM FOR GAS

Carlos Mesa loses much of his base of control as the leaders of the October rebelion, the city of El Alto, organizes to oppose elections that will officially sanction the Pacific LNG consortium control over Bolivia's oil and gas reserves ...
EL ALTO HAS RISEN UP AGAINST THE REFERENDUM FOR GAS

Writing by Econoticiasbolivia.com

El Alto, July 12, 2004. - El Alto, the rebellious town of highlands, the town that overthrew ex- president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, has raisen against the referendum made in accordance with the transnational companies and decreed a three day strike to prevent next Sunday's meeting and to demand the nationalization of gas and petroleum.

This is happening while at the same time, all the legal dispositions of the Electoral Court, the neoliberal govrenment of Carlos Mesa and the Constitutional Court, which has declared an obligatory attendance and has given sanctions, fines and jail for those who are against the referendum, the powerful Federation of Joint Neighborhood Groups (Fejuve) has ordered a boycott in this capital of almost 800 thousand inhabitants, in common agreement with the Central Bolivian Workers Union (COB).

This decision, is expected to be a hard blow for the government of Mesa and his allies, was made during the two day meeting held by the Neighborhood Associations (Fejuve), an event which concluded last Sunday and took place at the same time that the COB made the decision to expel as a "traitor", the deputy of the coca-growers and head of the Movement toward Socialism (MAS), Evo Morales, who until the beginning of this year held strong control over many of the social organizations, unions and El Alto, including the Neighborhood Associations (Fejuve).

The strike, with blockades on the streets and roads, meetings, demonstations and closers of voting centers will be maintained on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to determined the Neighborhood Associations, who chose to elect Abel Mamani Marca as their representative for District 3, similar to being elected to president of El Alto. Mamani replaces the MAS leader Mauricio Cori, who in the last few weeks had been beaten and pushed several times by his neighbors who have questioned his handling of things and his adhesion to Mesa's government.

The Meeting of the Neighborhood Associations (Fejuve), was denominated "By the recovery of our hydrocarbons, nationalization of the gas, El Alto stands tall, never on our knees", also the miner Jaime Solares leader of the COB, who stated that "if Mesa does not listen the people it is better than he gets his suitcases ready and leaves".

Solares also announced that the forces COB will work intensely to boycott the "swindling-referendum", that only looks like it will be giving gas exports for free to the millionaire businesses and legitimizing control of the reserves to the foreign oil companes, the gas and oil wealth of Bolivia. This Tuesday, in La Paz, an open town hall and other actions related to the boycott are being planned, as the closing of highways on the Altiplano and the valleys, in addition assaults on ballot-boxes and the closing of the voting center in the cities of the rural La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosí and other rural areas.

The decision of El Alto constitutes a strong and decisive recognition of the COB, in support of the struggle being initiated by the COB. This was already announced during in the inauguration of the Neighborhood Association Meeting, when the delegates marched through the streets, from El Cruce to Villa Adela, chanting loudly "nationalization" and "El Alto stands tall, never on our knees".

The town that vas the vanguard in the October rebellion does not seem to be disposed to lose at the ballot-boxes, in a rigged election, what they have defended with blood, pain and courage nine months ago.

 econews@ceibo.entelnet.bo

Copyright © Econoticiasbolivia.com 2004 - for Designed 800 Xs 600


EL ALTO SE ALZA CONTRA EL REFERÉNDUM DE LAS PETROLERAS

Redacción de Econoticiasbolivia.com

El Alto, julio 12, 2004.- El Alto, el pueblo rebelde de las alturas, el pueblo que derrocó al ex presidente Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, se alzó en contra del referéndum hecho a medida de las transnacionales y decretó un paro de tres días para impedir la consulta del próximo domingo y exigir la nacionalización del gas y el petróleo..

Pasando por encima de todas las disposiciones legales de la Corte Electoral, del gobierno del neoliberal de Carlos Mesa y del Tribunal Constitucional, que han declarado obligatoria la asistencia y han definido sanciones, multas y cárcel para quienes se opongan al referéndum, la poderosa Federación de Juntas Vecinales (Fejuve) decretó el boicot en esta capital de casi 800 mil habitantes, en común acuerdo con la Central Obrera Boliviana (COB).

Esta decisión, que supone un duro golpe para el gobierno de Mesa y sus aliados, fue adoptada durante el Congreso de dos días de la Fejuve, evento que concluyó este domingo y en el que también se aclamó la decisión de la COB para expulsar por "traidor" al diputado cocalero y jefe del Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), Evo Morales, que hasta principios de año tenía un fuerte control de muchas organizaciones sociales, sindicales y vecinales de El Alto, incluida la Fejuve.

El paro, con bloqueos de calles y caminos, mitines, movilizaciones y cierre de los centros de votación se cumplirá desde el vienes, sábado y domingo, según determinó el Congreso, que eligió a Abel Mamani Marca, representante del Distrito 3, como presidente de los vecinos alteños. Mamani reemplaza en el cargo al dirigente del MAS, Mauricio Cori, el que en las últimas semanas había sido varias veces golpeado y arrastrado por los vecinos que cuestionaban su manejo prebendal y su adhesión al gobierno de Mesa.

En el Congreso Ordinario de la Fejuve, denominado "Por la recuperación de nuestros hidrocarburos, nacionalización del gas, El Alto de pie nunca de rodillas", participó también el líder de la COB, el minero Jaime Solares, quien advirtió que "si Mesa no escucha al pueblo es mejor que aliste sus maletas y se vaya".

Solares anunció también que las fuerzas de la COB trabajan intensamente para boicotear el "tramparendum", el referéndum tramposo que sólo busca dar vía libre a los millonarios negocios de la exportación de gas, además de legitimar el control que tienen las petroleras extranjeras sobre la riqueza hidrocarburífera de Bolivia. Para este martes, en La Paz, se ha previsto la realización de un cabildo abierto y otras acciones orientadas al boicot, como el cierre de caminos en el Altiplano y los valles, además del asalto de ánforas y cierre de centro de votación en las ciudades de La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosí y las áreas rurales.

La decisión de El Alto constituye un fuerte y decisivo espaldarazo a la lucha de la COB, y ya había sido preanunciada en la inauguración del Congreso vecinal, cuando los delegados marchaban por las calles, desde El Cruce hasta Villa Adela, gritando a voz en cuello por la "nacionalización" y "¡El Alto de pie, nunca de rodillas!".

El pueblo que vanguardizó la rebelión de octubre no parece estar dispuesto a perder en las urnas, en una consulta amañada, lo que defendió con sangre, dolor y coraje hace nueve meses (Ver "Mesa y el poder petrolero se juegan a fondo"  http://www.econoticiasbolivia.com/documentos/notadeldia/mesaafondo.html).

homepage: homepage: http://www.econoticiasbolivia.com/documentos/notadeldia/altoboicot.html

photo from film "even if the sky falls: the struggle continues" 13.Jul.2004 10:38

Kim Sky

photos ...


Pacific LNG is really British Petroleum 14.Jul.2004 08:55

mariposa nocturna

from Corpwatch;

"Pacific LNG, the consortium behind the project, is composed of the British multinationals BG Group and Pan-American Energy itself composed of BP and Bridas and the Spanish giant Repsol-YPF. The $5 billion gas export plan consists of a 700km pipeline from Bolivia to a port in Chile from where gas would be shipped to Mexico. There the shipment would be converted from its liquefied form back into a gas by the American company Sempra Energy Corp. and imported in California via a pipeline running from Baja California."

Earlier this year Calpine corporation tried to force a LNG plant into Humboldt Bay. Fortunately the people of Humboldt said no to this explosive and environmentally destructive terminal. Calpine is still attempting to drill geothermal on Medicine Lake. Calpine recieved 18 million from ENRON, the masterminds behind the California energy "crisis". Natural gas sales increased in CA during the manipulated hoax..

The consolidation of petroleum and natural gas corporations that claim to be "green" is evidence of WTO/FTAA globalization turning towards a single, dominant corporate beast with different names..

from corpwatch;

"The San Diego-based Sempra has been in negotiations since December of 2001 with Pacific LNG for a 20-year contract amounting to $7 billion. Sempra has been criticized for gouging consumers during the California energy crisis by inflating the price of gas and still faces investigation by federal and state regulators. It has been rushing to build gas terminals in the US and Mexico in response to the high price of natural gas while opposition to its projects mounts from groups like Greenpeace Mexico.

BP, Repsol-YPF and the BG Group have similarly unsavory records. BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, has been accused by the European Parliament for complicity in human rights abuses by the military in Colombia, and has been involved in environmentally damaging projects all over the world.

Similarly Repsol-YPF has built destructive pipelines in the Ecuadorian Amazon and on indigenous land in Colombia, both in conjunction with Shell and Occidental Petroleum, and independently on the land of the Uwa people. In 2002, the Mapuche people in Argentina sued the Spanish oil conglomerate for $404 million over the irreversible damage of indigenous lands.

The current Bolivian gas pipeline is not the first for the BG Group. BG was involved in a Bolivia to Brazil gas pipeline through the Amazon that was partially financed by loans from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. According to geographer Derrick Hindery, the project was constructed in spite of the saturation of the energy market in Brazil. It led to increased exploration, forest clearing and settlement along the pipeline perimeter, which includes delicate rainforest ecosystems and the lands of Guaran, Chiquitano, and Ayoreo indigenous communities.

Although the Bolivia-Chile pipeline is suspended for now, BGs Petrina Fahey says that they are optimistic about the future nonetheless. BG believes that Bolivia's gas reserves are key to the country's future prosperity and our aim is to continue to work with the government to deliver gas projects which support the best interests of the people of Bolivia.

Fahey adds that Pacific LNGs actions are not culpable for the upheaval. The current unrest in Bolivia is a political matter, and it would therefore be inappropriate for BG to pass comment. The situation is regrettable and BG hopes that a peaceful solution will be achieved shortly."

Here is a chance for Californians to organize in solidaridad con la gente El Alto y Bolivia. Nosotros in CA can begin researching solar, wind and biodiesel as alternative energy. Nothing wrong with riding a bicycle either. There are more local energy options that don't reqire transporting LNG into CA. It would make more sense to keep the natural gas from Bolivia in Bolivia. If the Bolivian people can control the drilling, taking small amounts when needed, it probably wouldn't be as environmentally destructive as transporting large amounts via pipeline to a super cooled tanker that is explosive..

Mexico nationalized their petroleum in 1938 to prevent Rockefeller's Standard Oil (Esso --> Exxon) monopoly from controlling and exporting Mexican petroleum.

details about Mexico's struggle with Standard Oil over their petroleum;

"For almost a century, petroleum has been the underpinning of the Mexican economy. All the Mexican ruling class's plans to develop a world-class industrialized country have been based on the continued ability to sell oil on the world market.

However, today its share of world production--about 3 percent--is nothing compared to 1921. Then Mexico produced 25 percent of the world's petroleum, second only to the U.S.

At that time, British and U.S. petroleum companies had investments in Mexico valued at $300 million. And they were taking out the oil as fast as they could.

Standard Oil, owned by the Rockefellers, and the British-owned Mexican Eagle firm had been vying for political control of Mexico for over a decade. They were deeply involved in making and breaking Mexican presidents, especially during the period of turmoil after the 1910 Mexican Revolution.

In his book America's 60 Families, Ferdinand Lundberg wrote that Standard Oil helped drive Porfirio Diaz out of office in 1911 and replaced him with Francisco Madero. He in turn "was ousted on Feb. 18, 1913, and was executed by Victoriano Huerta, pawn of British oil interests."

While Mexican peasants were dying trying to liberate the land, the oil companies were manipulating things at the top. Huerta was forced out on July 15, 1914.

Venustiano Carranza took office, says Lundberg, "on behalf of the National City Bank of New York," a Rockefeller institution.

Pancho Villa was a true revolutionary who organized the rebellious peasants into an army. Villa carried out raids on towns across the border in an effort to force the U.S. to intervene openly and to thereby expose the traitorous puppet Carranza.

The export of Mexico's black gold received a tremendous impetus with World War I. For the first time such gas guzzlers as tanks and airplanes were widely used.

But the wealth went to line the pockets of British and U.S. millionaires.

In 1917, the war in Europe finally came to a standstill amid mutiny and revolution. In Mexico, a new constitution contained a clause that worried the oil imperialists. On paper at least, Article 27 affirmed that anything in Mexico's "subsoil"--which includes minerals and petroleum--belonged to the nation.

U.S. oil companies viewed this with such alarm that some tried to whip up support for military intervention. But in his book "The Prize," Daniel Yergin argued: "Leading American bankers were keen to see Mexico make good on its debts, for which it needed oil revenues. And thus they took Mexico's side against the American oil companies and strongly opposed the companies' call for intervention and punitive sanctions."

As the oil millionaires further evolved into banking billionaires, such splits became less likely.

OIL COMPANIES HEDGE THEIR BETS
The Mexican government did not try to carry out the threat of nationalization at this time. But the popular sentiment for it was so great that the oil companies decided to hedge their bets.

They began exploration and development in Venezuela, at the same time cutting back on their Mexican production.

The tensions between Mexico and the U.S. were so intense in 1927 that it appeared diplomatic relations would be broken and the U.S. would intervene militarily. According to Yergin, President Plutarco Elias Calles actually ordered Gen. Lazaro Cardenas, military commander in the oil zone, to prepare to set the oil fields on fire in the event of a U.S. invasion.

The post-war capitalist economic boom of the 1920s led to a glut of many products on the world market. By 1928--with oil flooding the market from Venezuela, Romania and the Soviet Union as well as the U.S.--a price war loomed. Leaders of the informal world oil cartel met in secret at Achnacarry Castle in Scotland.

They tried to reach an agreement on limiting production to keep prices up. But even these lords of wealth couldn't control the capitalist market. Soon everything came tumbling down with the Great Depression.

It was the most catastrophic example of capitalist overproduction to date.

Oil production in Mexico fell dramatically. From a high of nearly 500,000 barrels a day in 1921, production a decade later had dropped to only 104,000 barrels a day. This put an end to development plans and intensified the misery of the masses.

All over the world, the disarray of capitalism spurred on revolutionary passion and organizing. Mexico was no exception. Working-class consciousness was rising, inspired by the rapid economic growth in the Soviet Union, the first workers' state and the only country seemingly unaffected by the worldwide economic crisis.

Lazaro Cardenas, the general who had been in charge of the oil fields, was elected president of Mexico in 1934. A very political general, he was proud of his humble origins and his self-education. He had read widely, especially on the history of the French Revolution and of Mexico.

Cardenas took office while the trade unions were growing in membership and militancy. He promised land reform, education and a program of vast public works.

Most foreign investors viewed him as a dangerous radical. But at least one imperialist had a more tempered opinion of him.

In 1938 a British minister wrote, "His leftist inclinations make him the bugbear of capitalism, but all things considered it is to be regretted that there are not more men of his calibre in Mexican life." ("The Prize")

Almost a year before that comment, a strike by oil workers had raised the potential of a general strike. To avert a showdown with the workers, Cardenas had appointed a special commission to review the oil companies' books and profits.

The commission was led by Professor Jesus Silva Herzog. It recommended much higher wages for the oil workers, a 40-hour work week, vacations and retirement benefits. It also recommended that all foreign technicians be replaced by Mexicans within two years.

The oil companies balked--especially at the commission's findings that showed the companies had milked Mexico for maximum profits. They knew this was setting the stage for determining compensation in the event of nationalization.

On March 18, 1938, Cardenas met with his cabinet and announced he would nationalize the oil industry. The decision was greeted with an exuberant six-hour parade in Mexico City. All classes appeared to support the move.

Cardenas' act was widely seen as an assertion of Mexican sovereignty against Yankee imperialism. Yet most of the nationalized properties belonged to British capital.

When the British government harshly demanded that the properties be returned, Mexico broke diplomatic relations."

above from;

 http://ivl.8m.com/Mex5.htm

above article goes on to talk about the beginning of WW2..

Seems like a similar situation today in Bolivia. This time it's natural gas instead of petroleum, Pacific LNG instead of Standard Oil..