February 06, 2006

Is the Relationship Between Evo and Hugo a Cooperation?

MABB © ®

There is a distinct discussion going on in Bolivia at the moment. The relationship forged between Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez is being highly questioned by some sectors of the Bolivian society. What is the nature of this relationship?

Historically, the international relations between Bolivia and Venezuela have been within the framework of agreements addressing education and some exchange of products. Today, the luvy-duvy relationship between Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez has sparked some scepticism among some observers. This relationship is being highly questioned. Some people say that Bolivia is being subordinated and forced to align with the designs of Hugo Chavez by receiving so many favorable favors. While Chavez and his government insist that this relationship is only based on solidarity for one another.

Why is then that Chavez is so interested in helping develop Bolivia's gas reserves? According to the newpapers, the Bolivian government will not develop the project (a pipeline) with Brazil and Argentina. Instead it will join a consorcium created by Chavez, which will include the Bolivian state oil compamy, Petrobras and PDVSA. This company, according to the president of YPFB, Jorge Alvarado, will provide energy for the whole region at higher prices and will also provide stability. The Venezuelan government has already a PDVSA branch opened in La Paz. This office opened its doors a day after Morales' inaugration.

Considering the theory of international relations which defines these relations between states being based on agendas of self interests, one has to ask himself why is it really Chavez giving Bolivia so much help expecting very little in return (so far)? I don't want to jump to conclusions now but I just have to wonder as to the real intentions of Chavez, knowing his democratic record.


Johnny B. said...

He's probably looking to increase the prestige of Venezuela and use that to give him more leverage against the imperialistas.


miguel said...

Hey Johnny B. welcome. From your email, I saw you go to AU. I am an AU alumni myself, Class 1998 and 2000. I see Benny Ladner is gone. Who is in in his place?

An Eagle salute to you, my friend! :-)

Boli-Nica said...


First of all, you have to wonder when the country with #1 gas reserves in the continent tries to direct who country with #2 reserves sells to. Specially when country #1 stands to gain a lot if #2' loses its biggest customer.
Chavez is actively trying to sell gas to Brazil, Brazil might conclude it is better to deal with Chavez who is a known commodity (and in command of his country) than with Bolivia with its erratic history and potential instability.

Miguel said...

Well, I tend to disagree. If it only were that easy. What countries usually do in order to enter into these kind of agreements is to carry out a feasibility study. That means, roughly, they look at all the costs and benefits so they can decide. Well, at least, they try to look at all of them. I am no expert on this, but I would be willing to bet that bringing gas from Venezuela is more expensive than bringing it from Bolivia. For one, there is already one pipe connecting them. Plus, they do get their gas cheap from Bolivia. The so called "solidarity" prices.

But, you might have a point in the sense that either Lula or Kirchner must be eager to find another partner less volatile.

påt®iciå said...

Hola Mabb, te dejo mi nueva direccion de blog.

miguel said...

Gracias por avisar Patricia. Wow, se ve que trabajaste en el duro y parejo. Se ve excelente.