Is Evo’s world actually broad and alien?
By Edgardo Arrivillaga
Translated by: Guillermo Echavarria -
The next days the computers will probably flood us with news on Evo Morales’
visit to Cuba. But they will tell us less on the crucial issue of the
simultaneous Chinese investments in Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia. These
investments are leaded by the Shandong Luneng group, one of the Chinese most
important corporations, already solidly installed in Venezuela and Peru.
With a total investment of U$S 10 billion for the year 2006, the Chinese
corporation Luneng Group Shandong, which groups several Asian businessmen, is
nowadays in position 45 among the 500 most powerful Chinese corporations. With a
U$S 30 billion capital, 83 subsidiary companies and 148.000 employees, it plans
investing at the strategic South American area in the following projects:
1. Building a 3 dock harbor at the Tacna’s department coast for handling large
capacity ships, U$S 2 billion.
2. building an industrial zone U$S 4 billion
3. building collection, transport and distribution waterworks
4. building a two-way railroad for freight and passengers (from Sama-Tacna in
Peru to Santa Cruz-Corumba in Bolivia) U$S 2 billion.
5. interconection with Bolivia’s and Brazil’s railroads
6. urban and services zone, U$S 2 billion
According to Tacna sources, the Chinese investments will create 5.000 indirect
work positions (building) and 30.000 direct positions (operations), foreign
currency for U$S 5 billion, and an annual trade of U$S 10 billion.
The place for the megaport installation will be the Sama Valley at Tacna city,
strategically positioned in Latin America, because it is in South America’s
middle point, at the west of the territory, at the geographically nearest point
to China, and could make up a direct entry and exit point for Bolivia and the
south and west of Brazil, making the international trade easier.
Simultaneously, the Corporation is in talks with Techint from Argentina, the
serious part of ENARSA’s energy ring, and especially with Venezuela’s PVDS,
which has signed agreements with Iran.
The Venezuela and Brazil objectives are consistent with the traditional Bolivian
objectives, the mining aristocracy, that was endangered by Evo’s victory, and we
should ask ourselves in a few days, when analyzing the Chinese corporation and
the radicalized MAS pressure for expelling it from the area, in which measure
Evo Morales victory is not a boomerang with unforeseen results for the South
American energy coalition and what is hiding behind the indigenist’s flags.
Last year the Chinese stopped the talks with Bolivia for focusing in Peru,
because they estimated the situation in Bolivia was unstable. Simultaneously,
Pan American Energy and BP personnel had to be evacuated urgently – via Buenos
Aires – because Evo’s “cocaleros” threatened burning them alive.
In a few days we will see if the MAS victory is an indigenist pretense, hiding a
hard fight of the oil cartel, as was exactly what happened with Khomeini’s
revolution in Iran against the autonomist Sha’s willpower pointing to make it
the key country in the region.
A hard war of interests in South America is taking shape, and it covers all the
variations we could think of.
The “cocalero” interests, the ecologist ones, which we will see moving fast for
environmentalist targets unviable in the Altiplano and the British interests,
traditionally associated with the Chinese in a double complement-competition
relationship and with the Americans in our immediate regional frame
The political contradiction in Bolivia do not move through the Cuban island -
with a quasi-embalmed leader – but through the landing of a new machesterian
England with Asian features, at the rearguard of a transitorily endangered
hegemonic American power, with other priorities.
We would see how the military unarmed argentine diplomacy plays its cards.