Government nationalizes a phone company,
acquires shares of oil companies by decree
On May Day President Morales announced the nationalization of Entel, the major international and long-distance phone company, and one of several companies offering cell phones. Euro Telecom International NV, the Italian company that owns Entel, had no immediate comment as police surrounded its principal offices. Entel had been the government telephone monopoly until it was privatized in 1996. Telephone service in Bolivia up until that point had been execrable. It is now quite good.
The President also announced that the final step in the "nationalization" of three petroleum oil companies, under which the government would acquire 51 per cent of the outstanding shares, would be accomplished by decree since an agreement had not been reached through negotiation.
This weblog was created to provide a fuller and more accurate picture of the current situation in Bolivia. Our principal effort to try to pull things together and place them in proper perspective is the penultimate post below, titled "Main Story."