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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

07 May 2006

Adventurism in the Andes

(This is a letter that the Christian Science Monitor published on May 8. Link to the letter and to the original story)

Your May 4 editorial, “Adventurism in the Andes,” captures the perils which accompany the momentum toward nationalization in resource-rich countries. Most distressing, however, is the thought that the trend is hard to reverse. Kuwait has been discussing Project Kuwait, a bill to invite foreign investment, for a decade now, to no avail. Iran has struggled to find a formula to bring back foreign investors, a task made harder by the country's isolation. Even Mexico's debate is colored by the country's nationalization of the oil industry in 1938.

As we follow the likes of Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales, it is worth recalling not only that they are harming their own hydrocarbon industries, but that the popular expectations on which their policies feed are likely to be with us many years after their own stint in power is over. A pity to think how much harm can be done in so little time - harm that will prove very hard to reverse.

Nikos Tsafos
Washington

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