LATIN AMERICA Viva nacionalización! Viva expropiación!
Jul 01, 2007 | 07:23 AM
VENEZUELA Venezuela's announcement that members of the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (Alba)—Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela—will set up a joint geological and mining development council reinforces the "alternative" or "independent" regional integration process now occurring in Latin America.
The move signals another red alert to potential foreign investors, already on their guard following the past year's sudden nationalizations in Bolivia and Venezuela, including in the oil, gas, metals and telecommunications sectors.
Emerging from the inaugural meeting of the Alba mining ministries that will form the new council comes further news that another new regional mining council, Minerosur, possibly with similar premises, is planned for Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur), the southern cone common market.
Alba, the brainchild of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, is touted as a socialist alternative to the so-far ill-fated Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas, the more U.S.-dominated free trade area of the Americas. Chávez finds Alba—also loosely supported by the newly socialist Ecuador—more to his taste than the conservative Andean Nations Community, which has virtually collapsed since Venezuela's dramatic withdrawal about a year ago.....
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