Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Petrobras vs. Southern Venezuela

Today's news (1, 2) show three things: First, that Evo will not be able to cruise past the nationalization. Regardless of last week's energy summit, Petrobras is at odds with nationalization. Petrobras president, Gabrielli, said the Bolivian constitution allows nationalization only after indemnification. So, they want to make sure that this nationalization occurs legally and not according to Chavez and Evo's wishes. Petrobras also condemned the appointment of a new board for their Bolivian operations, and said that the government overlooked a series of legal requirements and procedures. In other words, the government is acting illegally (I wonder if that is yet another reason why they are so keen on changing the constitution).

On Saturday, Petrobras gave the Bolivian government 45 days to negotiate the new contracts before going to international arbitration. 41 days remain.

Second, that beyond a crude earnings analysis, the current administration did not consider the effects of nationalization on other investment. Now, investment from Brazilian businesses will be conditional on the Petrobras case. This is bound to affect Bolivia, which has its biggest trading partner in Brazil.

And finally, Bolivia is extra-officially Southern Venezuela. A Petrobras team, including Petrobras president Gabrielli, went to Caracas to speak with the Venezuelan government and PDVSA about Bolivia's nationalization. Only after this meeting is over will they go to Bolivia. Wonder why....

In a related note, the Brazilian government has finally expressed their discontent with Chavez's actions. The government said that one cause for discomfort was that PDVSA guided Bolivia's nationalization.

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Anonymous JL Bruzual said...

Very interesting your note about Petrobras and Chávez influence. I have been writing about this crisis lately in my Blog.

Muy interesante que Ud le dedique al tema candente de Suramerica. Evidentemente Chávez se ha tornado en una figura importante dentro del mundo Latino. Pero su accionar lo ha llevado a que otros lideres se aprovechen del pago que el otorga para que lo dejen figurar.
Por eso Lula lo ayuda. También por una cuestión ideologica devenida desde el grupo de São Paulo.
Lo que ha sucedido últimamente es horroroso. Chavez es el invitado que le dan un dedo y se quiere cojer la mano toda y encima se quiere appoderar del alma de los otros.
En su última visita a São Paulo fue totalmente negreado. Los hermanos del Sur, lo dejaron solo hablando de mirabolantes Gasoductos.
Por eso Chavez entrompó contra la Petrobras, incidiendo de manera puntal en el caso de la nacionalización de los hidrocarbonetos de Bolivia. Por eso Chávez esta haciendo lo que hace. Pero el tiro le va a reventar por la culata. Ayer el Ministro de Relaciones Exterriores de Brasil Celso Amorin (que hasta ahora había sido muy condescendiente con Chavez), y en medio de una interpelación pública en la sede del Senado en Brasilia, fue categorico en señalar que Chávez ha sido factor negativo dentro de la negociación entre la crisis del Gas con Bolivia. Al punto que puede terminar dañando la Integración Latinoamericana.
He seguido bien de cerca este caso en mis ultimos post, e invito a que le den una ojeada en:
Informaciones de hoy del O Estado de São Paulo (

2:26 PM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

Thanks for the links. I don't have much time now, but I will read them as soon as I can.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous galloglass said...

Alvaro: Re: Santa Cruz...I know that SC isn't monolithic, my concern is that when things get worse, with Venezuelan and Cuban masters pulling the strings, it will be too late. How does Evo view the Japanese-Bolivians? How do you see land nationalization playing out? I read in El Deber that even small estates will be considered latifundios...secondly, many goods, e.g., foodstuffs are imported into Bolivia from Brazil, Chile, Argentina...will this effect the general export/import climate?

1:07 AM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

Dear Galloglass, I know. I personally think it is already too late. As for Evo's thoughts on Asian-Bolivians, I do not have a clue. Race has always been an important part of Evo's platform, so it wouldn't surprise if he holds something against them.

As for land reform... it will be devised to strip the Santa Cruz landowner elite from their leverage. So, expect to base Evo's decision on what a latifundio is based on their holdings.

Jl Bruzual... thanks for the links. I already read them and you're right on the spot. Thanks again.

1:34 PM  

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