Skip to main content


The presidents of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador announced Friday Oct. 12th that new Ballenas-Maraciabo international pipeline will be extended across Colombia to create the first transoceanic pipeline on the continent.

Speaking at the inauguration Friday, President Chavez said that plans were ready to connect the pipeline with Central America and the Andean countries of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The announcement names the city of Popayán in southwestern Colombia as the pipeline's next destination where it will then be extended south to the Ecuadorian border city of Tulcán, in the highlands of Ecuador's central valley.

President Chavez also announced plans to connect the pipeline with Panama and from there head north into Central America, expanding the Union of South American Nation's (Unasur) plans to create a regional energy grid to supply the continents increasing energy needs.

Energy shortages are already affecting the southern cone where natural gas shortages in Argentina have led to supply cuts in gas exports to Chile. According to figures published by the New York Times, Argentina has cut over 90 percent of its supplies to Chile 79 times this past winter forcing power plants and factories to switch to diesel and fuel oil to make up for lack of natural gas.

The repeated cuts have strained relations between Santiago and Buenos Aires and caused the highest number of dangerously smoggy days in the capital city of Santiago in seven years. The cuts are also contributing to increased inflation in Chile, expected to reach 6.4 percent this year.

Although Argentina's president Nestor Kirchner refuses to admit that government price fixes have discouraged much needed investment and development in the energy sector, leading to decreased production, analysts say that his policies are responsible for Argentina's soaring inflation. While official government figures predict that inflation will grow between 7 and 11 percent, The Economist puts the figure at 12.6 percent and the New York Times quoted private economists who predict national inflation will be closer to 20 percent.

All of this is occurring in the context of a continental push for greater integration launched by the 12 presidents of South American nations in 2000. The success of the movement so far has been mixed with the northern half of the continent moving forward on projects like the Ballenas-Maracaibo pipeline while the southern cone remains bogged down in conflicts like that between Argentina and Chile.

Photo By: ABN, Venezuela


Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

77-Year-Old Wall Street Favorite to Face Fujimori in Peru Runoff

By Nathan Gill and John Quigley April 12, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- The victory by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former finance minister, for second place in Sunday’s Peruvian president elections sets up a showdown between two business-friendly candidates, part of a regional backlash against left-wing politicians.
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old Oxford-trained political economist who’s spent more than 50 years championing debt control and free trade, won 21 percent of vote with 96 percent of the ballots counted, according to the electoral office. He will face Keiko Fujimori, who won 39.8 percent, in a second-round vote on June 5.
Click here to read the full story on Bloomberg News.

Bailout Risk Grows for Ecuador After Worst Earthquake in Decades

By Nathan Gill April 19, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- Before a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on Saturday, the South American nation’s finances were already in tatters as the government struggled to meet payments to municipal authorities, oil companies and even cancer hospitals. Cut off from global bond markets, President Rafael Correa must now find enough money to rehouse thousands.
As volunteers continue to rescue victims from the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, doubts are growing about the country’s ability to pay for the reconstruction. The nation is already in its worst recession since the financial system collapsed in the late 1990s, and international reserves are at their lowest levels in almost seven years.
Click hereto read the full story on Bloomberg News.