Another example of the law of unintended consequences: Evo was in Spain on Wednesday, probably partly as a result of the spoof phone invite from a right-wing radio station. This ‘invitation’ opened the door politically for Zapatero to offer a courtesy invite which might have otherwise drawn a lot more political backfire from the PP right.
In fact, as the linked article makes plain, it is Spanish interests – especially Repsol YPF, Iberdrola and Red Electrica – that are most immediately threatened by Morales nationalisation plans. This makes yet more dog-in-the-mangerism from the PP (Rajoy was too busy to meet with him) very hard to understand. One more time they seem to be putting Party before Common interest, hoping to be able to ensnare Zapatero in Morales’ web for short term political advantage without thinking too much about the actual future of Bolivia, or of Spanish interests there.
Morales was also in Brussels yesterday, where he met, of course (who else), Javier Solana.
Oh, How Are The Mighty Fallen!
I can remember a time when Jeffrey Sachs used to do some pretty innovative work in development economics (and this one). Among other parameters influencing ‘take-off’ he used to think the demographic ones important. Increasingly this seems not to be the case. This podcast interview with Bolivian blogger Miguel Centellas and Jeffrey Sachs is not only informative as to what is happening in Bolivia itself, but also on how Sachs’ thinking is evolving. The three key issues explaining the ‘Bolivian Question’ are now: the fact that it is land-locked, the fact that there is huge inequality, and the fact that there is political instability. The first is a reality which only infrastructural investment can ammeliorate, but the second two involve addressing demographic issues if you want to move forward. At least that is my view. Incidentally hat-tip to Miguel Buitrago and also see this post and comments on the Ciao blog.