Archive for September, 2009

China offers donation, credit to help Bolivia’s development

September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

China will donate 15 million RMB (2.19 million U.S. dollars) and offer interest-free credit of 20 million RMB (2.92 million dollars) to Bolivia to aid the latter’s development.

Under the two treaties signed by Bolivia and China Tuesday, the money is to be invested into Bolivia’s poverty-relief projects, such as the supply of drilling equipment for water wells.

The treaties were signed at the Bolivian Foreign Ministry by Qu Shengwu, Chinese ambassador to Bolivia and Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca.

Source:Xinhua

 

Bolivia Rating Raised by Moody’s as Tension Eases

September 30, 2009

By Jonathan J. Levin

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — Bolivia’s credit rating was raised to B2 from B3 by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited an easing in political tension in the South American country.

“The upgrade was prompted by general improvements to Bolivia’s main debt metrics and the reduction of the still-high levels of domestic political confrontation,” Moody’s analyst Gabriel Torres said in a statement. “Years of above-trend growth and the benefits of external debt forgiveness have significantly improved most of Bolivia’s credit metrics.”

Bolivia’s economy expanded more than 6 percent last year, according to Moody’s. Political violence in the country peaked in September 2008, when confrontations between opposition members and supporters of President Evo Morales left at least 11 people dead. The country is holding presidential and congressional elections on Dec. 6.

Source: Bloomberg

Bolivian President says Coup Against Zelaya, Intimidation to ALBA

September 30, 2009

Sep. 27, 2009

PORLAMAR, Venezuela, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Sunday that the coup against deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya means an intimidation to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).

The coup of June 28 is a reminder of the American empire, under the doctrine to prevent further widening of the ALBA, said Moralesat a news conference held in the Hilton hotel, venue of the Second Africa-South America Summit (ASA).

For Morales, the alliance established in 2004 is considered by some as the axis of evil, when in fact, it is the core of humanity.

It is the product of historic struggles of Fidel Castro, and most recently, of Hugo Chavez, he said.

Concerning the situation in Honduras, he called upon the interim Honduran government to restore the constitutional order. “Not just the ALBA, but also the international community in general, support the return of democracy in Honduras,” he said.

On Saturday, heads of state and government of ASA countries have approved a joint statement condemning the coup in Honduras.

Source: Xinhua

Evo Morales Leads Vote Intention Poll

September 30, 2009

La Paz, Sep 29 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales enjoys 54 percent of electoral preference, 66 days to the general elections in December, polling firm Ipsos APOYO Opinion y Mercado revealed.

  The poll, made known today by ATB private TV channel, was held September 12-20 in 59 regions of the country’s nine departments.

Those polled were women and men ranging between 18 and 70 years of age, and from different socioeconomic status.

According to the poll, Morales would attain important wins in the departments of La Paz (73 percent), Potosi (63 percent), Oruro (69.2 percent), and Cochabamba (60 percent), while in the rest, he is expected to have a considerable number of votes compared to his rivals.

His main opponents for December are Manfred Reyes Villa, who is second, with 20 percent, and Samuel Doria Medina, with 11 percent.

The Ipsos survey reveals the candidate for the ruling Movement towards Socialism would be re-elected in the general elections with more votes than in 2005, when he obtained 53.7 percent.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivia Senate on Supreme Court President’s Suspension

September 30, 2009

La Paz, Sep 29 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian Senate is considering a parliamentarian decision on Eddy Fernandez’s suspension as president of the Supreme Court of Justice, accused of delaying processes.

  In May, the Bolivian Parliament agreed to suspend him from his functions for hindering the trial of accountability against former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (2002-2003) and his collaborators, accused of genocide during a police repression in October 2003, when 69 people died and more than 400 were injured.

Senator Ricardo Diaz, from the ruling Movement towards Socialism (MAS), said 22 legislators will deliberate on Fernandez’s charges.

If Senate rejects the deputies’ decision, something analysts said it is very likely because that instance is mainly formed by the opposition, Fernandez must be reinstated in his post.

Beatriz Sandoval, member of the Supreme Court since January 2005, is acting as interim president.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivia Should Seek New Gas Markets Including Chile, Reyes Says

September 29, 2009

By Jonathan J. Levin

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — Bolivian presidential candidate Manfred Reyes Villa, who will challenge incumbent Evo Morales in Dec. 6 elections, said he would seek to increase commodity exports and end a policy that forbids energy shipments to Chile if elected.

Bolivia loses $2 billion annually because it hasn’t been able to open new markets for its natural gas and metals, Reyes Villa, 54, said in a Sept. 25 interview at the international airport in El Alto, a city that borders the capital La Paz.

“He who pays should be able to buy gas,” said the candidate, a member of the Plan Progress party and a former governor of Cochabamba province. “We didn’t take advantage of the best economic moment that the country has experienced, with raw materials at their highest values.”

Bolivia has the second-biggest natural-gas reserves in South America after Venezuela, and the Andean nation also exports metals such as tin and zinc. All of Bolivia’s foreign natural-gas sales go to Brazil and Argentina, and South Korea is the biggest buyer of metals.

Reyes Villa said the Morales government has “demagogically” avoided the Chilean market because of a dispute that dates back to a 19th century war in which Bolivia lost its coastline to the neighboring country.

“Today, the economy is based on narcotics trafficking,” Reyes Villa said.

Bolivia is the world’s third-largest producer of cocaine after Colombia and Peru, according to a United Nations report.

Coca Crop

Morales tolerates a limited crop of coca, cocaine’s raw ingredient, which Bolivians consume legally in teas and medicines. Although he expelled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from the country last year, he says he opposes the production and sale of cocaine.

The Bolivian leader has 57.7 percent support in the Andean nation, according to a Gallup International poll conducted from Aug. 5 to Aug. 22. Reyes Villa had 8.6 percent support. The poll has a margin of error of 2.27 percentage points.

The poll was conducted before several opposition candidates, including former Vice President Victor Hugo Cardenas and former President Jorge Quiroga, dropped out of the race.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Bolivia Rating Raised by Moody’s as Tension Eases

September 29, 2009

By Jonathan J. Levin

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — Bolivia’s credit rating was raised to B2 from B3 by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited an easing in political tension in the South American country.

“The upgrade was prompted by general improvements to Bolivia’s main debt metrics and the reduction of the still-high levels of domestic political confrontation,” Moody’s analyst Gabriel Torres said in a statement. “Years of above-trend growth and the benefits of external debt forgiveness have significantly improved most of Bolivia’s credit metrics.”

Bolivia’s economy expanded more than 6 percent last year, according to Moody’s. Political violence in the country peaked in September 2008, when confrontations between opposition members and supporters of President Evo Morales left at least 11 people dead. The country is holding presidential and congressional elections on Dec. 6.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Bolivia: Turn Garrisons into Universities

September 29, 2009

Cochabamba, Bolivia, Sep 28 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales defended turning military garrisons into universities to benefit mainly those soldiers coming from poorer sectors.

  “If we do not make improvements in information and communication, it will be difficult to think in the development of Bolivia,” he said during the ceremony to hand over computers to the High military Command of Cochabamba.

He said educational work must be carried out besides customary activities in garrisons to in the interests of the Bolivian soldiers.

Morales vowed to hand over more computers to military facilities in the future in order to replace the typing machines still in use, as he recalled the promise made by the Chinese government to donate 5,000 computers to Bolivia.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivia Deals a Blow to Drug Traffic

September 29, 2009

La Paz, Sep 28 (Prensa Latina) A cocaine crystallization laboratory found this weekend, 24 miles from San Javier (Santa Cruz) had nearly 18.5 tons of controlled chemical substances for the elaboration of the drug, reported Los Tiempos newspaper.

  The chief of the Special Force Against Drugs (FELCN) commander Oscar Soliz said the factory covers two hectares and had special areas to dry drug and produce chemical substances (hydrochloric acid).

The place was also provided with dormitories, larder, kitchen and a monitoring and watching station with a long-distance radio communication team and 12 private receptors.

Soliz emphasized the place was able to produce over 6,350 kilo of controlled solid substance and other 12,300 litres of compound liquids.

The antidrug chief also added that although someone was arrested in the operation, between 15 and 20 operators are suspected of being in the laboratory before the FELCN operation.

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PL 28-09 10:03 BOLIVIA-DROGAS

Asestan golpe al narcotráfico en Bolivia

La Paz, 28 sep (PL) El laboratorio de cristalización de cocaína descubierto este fin de semana, a 40 kilómetros de San Javier (Santa Cruz), tenía cerca 18,5 toneladas de sustancias químicas controladas para la elaboración de droga, informa hoy el diario Los Tiempos.

Según el jefe de la Fuerza Especial de Lucha Contra el Narcotráfico (FELCN) de ese departamento, comandante Ôscar Soliz, la factoría se encuentra en una extensión de dos hectáreas y contaba con áreas especiales para el secado del estupefaciente y fabricación de sustancias químicas (ácido clorhídrico).

También disponía de dormitorios, despensas, cocina y una estación de monitoreo y vigilancia, compuesto por un equipo de radiocomunicación de larga distancia y 12 receptores personales.

Soliz precisó que en el lugar pudieron cuantificar más de seis mil 350 kilogramos de sustancias sólidas controladas y otros 12 mil 300 litros de compuestos líquidos.

El jefe antidroga agregó que, aunque no se pudo detener a ninguna persona en la incursión, se sospecha que entre 15 y 20 operarios se encontraban en el laboratorio antes del operativo de la FELCN.

Source: Prensa Latina

South Korean top mining firm seeking Bolivia’s lithium: report

September 28, 2009

2009-09-28

South Korea’s top mining company made its case Saturday to be allowed to tap Bolivia’s vast reserves of lithium, the soft metal used to produce batteries for electric or hybrid cars.”If the Bolivian government gives us the opportunity to get involved with Uyuni’s lithium mines, we are always ready to do so,” Sun Kong, a top executive at the state-run Korea Resources Corporation (KORES), told La Razon newspaper.

Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni houses some 140 million tons of lithium, attracting interest from French and Japanese companies.

Sun said his company would not only be interested in processing the lithium but also hoped to be involved in extraction, noting that KORES has specialized mining capability.

Earlier this month Bolivian President Evo Morales said his country is looking for “partners” and not “owners” for its natural resources, including its vast lithium reserves.

Source: AFP