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  • International Politics

    Mayra Rodríguez Valladares, Contributing Editor, South America

    Bolivia’s gas sector nationalization. Almost two centuries after Bolivia proclaimed its independence from Spain, Bolivian President Evo Morales opened a newly elected Constituent Assembly, where the first task is to rewrite the country’s constitution. Morales’ focus is on empowering the majority indigenous population for the first time. Outside of Bolivia, particular focus will be on whether the assembly places any further controls on energy or other economic sectors, especially foreign investment. In the new assembly, elected on July 2, Morales’ party, MAS, (Movement Toward Socialism) has a thin majority. MAS does not have the two-thirds needed to control the assembly completely. A good portion of the opposition, particularly from the powerful department (equivalent to a US state) of Santa Cruz, will fight Morales on any move that discourages foreign investment. President Morales announced the nationalization of energy in May, causing great consternation in Washington and Brasilia.

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