It's May 1 2006 and the Sun is Rising

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has signed a decree placing his country's energy industry under state control. In a May Day speech, he said foreign energy firms must agree to channel all their sales through the Bolivian state, or else leave the country. He set the firms a six-month deadline, but the military and state energy officials have already started taking control of the oil fields. Bolivia has South America's second largest natural gas reserves. But the country has suffered years of political crises over how to develop and profit from the industry. The main foreign oil firms operating in Bolivia are Brazil's Petrobras, the Spanish-Argentine company Repsol YPF, British companies British Gas and British Petroleum and France's Total. "The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources," said Morales.


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