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Brazil’s Petrobras Needs to Respect Bolivia’s Property Rights

A Brazilian physicist, José Walter Bautista Vidal, who played an important role in the country’s sugarcane-based ethanol program (Proálcool) and presently works with biodiesel projects, says that what Brazil should do is defend Bolivia’s right to nationalize its oil and gas reserves and industries.

"At issue here is the principle of sovereignty. If we do not respect the principle of sovereignty others will use it against us and we have much to lose," he declared.

Bautista Vidal says it is wrong to see what Bolivia did as an "error," or that Bolivia is attacking Brazil, just because Petrobras was affected by the decision.

"That is not true. Bolivia is preserving fundamental, strategic property… and Bolivia is right. Petroleum is the property of the Bolivian people, just like the mineral reserves in Brazil belong to the Brazilian people," he explained.

Citing the example of the Vale do Rio Doce Company, one of the world’s largest mining firms, which was privatized during the Cardoso government, Bautista Vidal said:

"Today the Vale do Rio Doce Company operates in accordance with the rules that govern multinational groups and not in the interests of Brazil. The fact that foreign companies can obtain possession of resources is a crime against sovereignty," he said.

"Petrobras has to act differently, in accordance with Brazilian principles, respecting the property of other nations," said Bautista Vidal.

"But there are reports that Petrobras has not been following those principles and that is why the Bolivian people did what they did. Such activity by Petrobras is not compatible with Brazilian interests. Petrobras cannot act like other petroleum companies."

Agência Brasil

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Guest

    False Nationalism: Outdated economic mod
    The current crisis shows clearly that neither state intervention nor free market magic have delivered prosperity for large numbers of South Americans.
    Aside from the empty political rhetoric, there are increasing signs that many people admit that what is needed is the courage and desire to look for practical ways of improving social and economic conditions :no longer can human labour be just regarded as just a commodity!
    The great challenge is how to balance egoism and altruism in economic life.

  • Guest

    National Socialism
    The idea that state-owned companies belong to the people is utterly false and serves only mask the elimination of economic competition by a small group of privileged bureacrats and politicians.

    State-owned compnanies do not belong to the people but rather to the national-socioalist oligarchic groups which control the state machinery in underdeveloped countries.

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