Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Recovering Bolivia's Oil and Gas

Um artigo (já velhinho, de Junho de 2005) da revista Counterpunch acerca de como gerir a aplicação das receitas petroliferas (e "gasoziferas") bolivianas:

"The sheer value of the oil and gas is important to the future of the Bolivian economy. The 52.3 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in Bolivia-reserves presently in the hands of foreign capitalists-are minimally worth $120 billion.1 This means that financial resources exist in Bolivia for improving the living conditions of the whole population (...)"

"One hundred twenty billion dollars is an extraordinary amount of money. Such funds can enable the creation of a new productive base that could halt the country's decline and rescue it from industrial and commercial insignificance. The resources exist to modify the structure of national production by broadening its industrial base, improving the transportation system, and diversifying the economy."


"But as long as this wealth belongs to foreign businessmen who have appropriated resources that belong to others, these dreams remain unfulfilled. Foreign capitalists are getting rich, and intend to go on getting rich, from these resources. They restrict the possibilities that this wealth, which should belong to us, might be used to benefit the lives of all Bolivians. The capitalists, whether local or foreign, puts profits and her or his own personal benefit above the collective and national interest."


"When we talk about recovering our national patrimony, the central questions remain: Who or what is the "nation"? What would it mean to recover the control and management of hydrocarbon resources "for the nation"? Who decides the meaning, and who authorizes the voice, of the "nation" that will take charge of the reappropriation of natural wealth?"

"Up until now, the entity that incarnated the nation, its authority, and its sovereignty has been the state. From the 1940s to the 1990s, the state has attributed to itself the power to represent the nation, its destiny, and its political sovereignty. In particular, a bureaucratic, political elite has spoken in the name of the state and claimed to embody the state. On this basis it also claimed to speak in the name of the nation. Hence, for almost fifty years the destiny of the nation has been confused with that of the state; the property of the nation has been confused with the property of the state; the welfare of the nation has been confused with the welfare of state functionaries and government administrators; and the sovereignty of society over its own resources has been confused with the state's monopoly of the economy, culture, and collective wealth."

"That which claimed to possess the voice of the nation was, at bottom, nothing more than a form of state capitalism. It sacrificed the collective resources of society to enrich a caste of politicians and military officers. They, in turn, fattened up and paved the way for the current elite. This elite, in turn, spearheaded the transnational privatization of petroleum and natural gas."

"That is why, after sixty years of social struggles to reconquer our natural resources, it is impossible to return to the old state bureaucracy's strategy for recovering the nation's wealth. We have seen that nationalization, in the end, prepared the conditions for the denationalization of our collective wealth. The opposite of the cataclysmic privatizations and de-nationalization of transnational capitalism is neither state capitalism nor state property. Both options concentrate control of collective wealth in the hands of a few: in the first case, the corporate bosses; in the second, the state ministers, government functionaries, and lawyers. In both cases, tiny castes and elites-in the name of the free market or the patria (homeland)-appropriate the collective patrimony of Bolivian society for their private use. Both, in their own ways, monopolize social wealth without the decisions and will of ordinary working people."

"It becomes a question of countering both forms of privatization-the private property of the transnationals and the private property of the state-with forms of social, economic, and political organization. It is a question of organizing working people, ordinary people, and people who do not live off the labor of others and having them take into their own hands the control, use, and ownership of collective and communal wealth. The true opposite of privatization is the social reappropriation of wealth by working-class society itself-self-organized in communal structures of management, in assemblies, in neighborhood associations, in unions, and in the rank and file."

O autor do artigo, Oscar Olivera, foi um dos principais activistas dos protestos, em 2000, contra a privatização da água na Bolivia.


Anonymous said...

o presidente boliviano disse uma coisa que eu gostei, afirmou:

"não precisamos de patrões, mas de sócios."

esperemos que "forças ocultas" não tentem dar um golpe de estado. gostava de ver até onde ele vai levar a coisa...

Anonymous said...

Não me parece que Morales esteja minimamente interessado nos caminhos da autogestão propostos por Oscar Olivera. Provavelmente será mais uma experiência de nacionalizações infrutíferas.

Esperemos para ver...