May 04, 2006

Viva Morales

The Boston Globe cautions the Bush warmongers:
COLD WAR habits of mind, which seem to survive among some of President Bush's advisers, are being tested by events in Latin America, where new strains of populism and nationalism are challenging the free-market doctrines of administration conservatives. In an era when the United States' standing in the world is in decline, the Bush team must not make relations with Latin America worse than they already are by falling back on old Cold War patterns of behavior.

Although the announcement Monday by Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, that he is nationalizing foreign companies' natural gas operations has practically no direct effect on American interests, Morales's action is certain to stir up resentment in an administration closely identified with Big Oil. But any temptation to weigh in from Washington with hostile opinions about a commercial quarrel between the elected president of the continent's poorest country and energy companies from Brazil and Spain should be avoided.

Indeed, if administration ideologues truly believe in the infallible workings of the market, they will allow market forces to determine the outcome of the bold gamble Morales is taking.


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