"It all started six months ago this week. The populist leader Evo Morales told all foreign companies they had exploited his country and they had to hand over control of almost everything they own in Bolivia or else they’d be forced out of the country at gunpoint. They had to do this by November 1st. To make things clear he sent army troops to surround many of the gas fields. Things were ugly and soon got uglier. "
Here are a few problems with Adam Davidson's biased, sloppy, and distorted report:
- "six months ago" - The seizing of Bolivia's gas resources occured in the 1990s in a massive privatization of five state owned gas companies organized by the World Bank and IMF.
- "almost everything they own" - Davidson apparently just made this up. It is nowhere in the decree (which I read through in Spanish). This type of exaggeration was common in press coverage back in May of 2006.
- "forced out of the country at gunpoint" - Sounds dramatic, but Davidson again is writing fiction. I have yet to see or hear of any such threat from the Bolivian government.
- "to make things clear he sent army troops" - Pure opinion on Davidson's part. It is as reasonable to assume that, knowing his history of South America, Morales feared that significant assets would be removed by the gas companies and the army was sent in to prevent such theft or sabotage.
- "Things were ugly and soon got uglier." - Davidson doesn't give one fact to back this up. Was anyone arrested, killed, harassed, deported?
Yes something was ugly and got uglier. But it wasn't what happened in Bolivia.