For 5 years Bolivians workers have been protesting neoliberal globalization, to good effect. They have increasingly discouraged the predatory advancements of international “investment.” Indigenous and labor groups want the government to nationalize the multinationals’ assets without compensation. Usually capital is granted national assets for free to scandalously cheap under liberalizing regimes. “They believe multinationals have beeen plundering Bolivia’s riches for years,” and they want it to end (New York Times. 2005. “Foreign gas companies in Bolivia face sharply higher taxes.” May 17, 2005: A 10.)
The President Carlos Mesa has tried to engineer compromises between the organized working class and multinational capital, including allowing a bill to increase taxes on foreign oil companies to proceed in Congress. Foreign capital is outraged, but working Bolivians are extremely well organized, and they have gradually elected governments that do not unleash the military on them.
Dionisio Nunex, a congressman with Movement to Socialism, said that “the marches have to continue because in Congress, not all the senators and deputies defend the people. Sometimes they defend the multinationals.”