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Bolivia’s Resources up to the Highest Bidder? 

UPI | MAY 4, 2012

As confusing signals go, Bolivia achieved a double whammy by seizing a  Spanish power generation company hours before welcoming Spanish energy giant  Repsol into the country.

Bolivian President Evo  Morales went to some length to indicate that his order to the military to  take over the Red Electrica de Espana’s local operations wasn’t to be compared  with Argentine appropriation of YPF Repsol’s energy assets in that country.

He was taking over the company, Morales said, but will compensate it  adequately.

Both the United States and European Union said they were concerned the  nationalization would damage investment climate in Bolivia, while Brazilian  industry analysts said Argentine and Bolivian actions against foreign companies  risked discouraging investors away from Latin America.

Latin America’s investor community and business analysts had no immediate  comment on Morales’ order, which came shortly before the president inaugurated a  Repsol gas  processing plant that was originally intended to supply Argentina.

Whether that arrangement still holds, amid a bitter diplomatic row between  Argentina and Spain over the YPF Repsol seizure in Argentina, remains  unclear.

Morales accused Red Electrica de Espana of not investing enough profits into  developing its Bolivian company TDE, echoing Argentine statements before the YPF  Repsol takeover.

The seizure of Red Electrica de Espana leaves open the question of how the  company will be run once nationalized. Spanish government sources said Bolivian  government officials have been in talks with Madrid and promised fair  compensation for assets and investments.

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About the author:

Luis Miranda is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 17 years and almost every form of news media. He attended Montclair State University's School of Broadcasting and also obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Luis speaks English, Spanish Portuguese and Italian.

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