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Bolivia Says It Had No Obligation to Forewarn Brazil About Oil Nationalization

Minister Pedro Gumucio Dagron, an adviser to the Bolivian government, said today, May 4, that the nationalization of his country’s petroleum and gas reserves should have no affect on the relations between Bolivia and Brazil. In his opinion, the two countries will reach a satisfactory agreement for both parts.

Speaking to the press at the Bolivian embassy in Brasí­lia, Dragon said that the ties between the Brazilian and Bolivian governments are not limited to petroleum and gas exploration. The two countries have 332 treaties in diverse areas.

As far as the petroleum and gas area goes, the Bolivian counselor, who is in charge of business relations with Brazil, pointed out that foreign firms in Bolivia have 180 days to renegotiate their contracts for the right to exploit the country’s natural resources.

"Bolivia has not shut the doors to negotiation. The purpose of nationalization is not to create ill will. What Bolivia desires is to establish a partnership with Brazil," Dagron affirmed.

According to Dagron, the measure taken by Bolivia’s president Evo Morales was a necessary step to improve the quality of life for the Bolivian population.

The minister also mentioned that, since the measure represents a sovereign act, the country had no obligation to provide beforehand information to the countries that have companies in Bolivia.



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