If you think Evo Morales’ moves to re-nationalize Bolivia’s petroleum isn’t having a regional impact, consider this: Ecuador’s move to void the operating contract for Occidental Petroleum has led the US to suspend Free Trade talks with the Ecudoran governement.
Despite massive pressure from indigenous groups, it is unlikely that Ecuador would have made the bold move if the government had not be able to sample the mild response the Morales’ move elicited from the US government.
Perhaps Condoleeza Rice, who until recently was looking to wrap up FTA negotiations with Ecuador, just couldn’t hold in her rage. What is clear though is that the cause and effect of Morales’ move has emboldened other governments to take harder stances against corporate control of land and natural resources—thus giving a stronger hand to people’s movements and organizations.
The result is that the US is now having trouble pushing the core parts of its free trade agenda.