- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Protests threaten oil pipes
Bolivian President Evo Morales, has rushed security forces to protect oil and gas pipelines that export energy from rebellious eastern lowland provinces, where violent protests over the control of Bolivia’s energy reserves threatens to split the nation in two.
A threat by supporters of autonomy in the east to cut off natural-gas supplies to neighbors Brazil and Argentina has brought the potential conflict to a head.
Eastern militant groups demanding a share of recently nationalized energy reserves, seized an important gas-pumping station in the town of Yacuiba last week.
The seizure followed calls from the governors of Bolivia’s four eastern provinces - Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando - for greater self-rule and increased revenue from energy exports.
Mr. Morales responded by airlifting more than 1,000 elite security forces to guard a gas pipeline network that runs from the eastern provinces of Santa Cruz and Tarija, into neighboring Brazil and Argentina.
The response led to an uneasy standoff between local, pro-autonomy militants surrounding six major valve stations and national security forces - the latest escalation in regional tension that have plagued Bolivia since Mr. Morales took power in 2006.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim warned last week that his government was seriously monitoring the conflict in Bolivia and the possible disruption of a gas pipeline supplying 75 percent of energy needs to Brazil’s largest city and business capital, Sao Paolo.
“We are analyzing how the Bolivian government can guarantee the integrity of the pipeline network,” said Mr. Amorim, who stated that his government was prepared to “open direct contacts with eastern governors if necessary.”
Bolivia faces a stark ethnic divide between its eastern population with some European ancestry and its Indian population of the western Andean highlands.
Mr. Morales, the nation’s first Indian president, was elected on a platform to nationalize key industries and redistribute wealth to the nation’s impoverished Indian population.
Anti-Morales demonstrators have formed a regional coordinating body in the east known by the Spanish acronym CONALDE, which also ordered takeovers of government installations and road blockades.
Regional and ethnic fault lines cracked open last month when Mr. Morales called for a national referendum on a new constitution that would place the eastern lowlands and its natural resources under state control.
Demographics suggest that the proposed charter would likely win a national vote.
Mr. Morales scored a 67 percent majority in a referendum on his rule last month.
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- KEENE: Nelson Mandela's legacy
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!