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OPINION: Has the CIA infiltrated YPFB?

March 6, 2009

SAEM – Every one knows that the CIA has always been active in Latin America. Some of its crimes, like helping to overthrow Salvador Allende from power on September 11, 1973, an elected head of state, shows the murky side of how the the Agency works behind the scenes.

Can we believe President Evo Morales of Bolivia who states that the CIA has infiltrated YPFB, the state-owned energy company? It sounds pretty fishy especially after former YPFB president, Santos Ramírez, was forced to resign in disgrace as a suspect in an alleged corruption case that involved the death of an energy official.

Certainly the corruption allegation at the helm of YPFB is clear proof that this problem is still too widespread in Bolivia for anyone’s comfort. Covering up the problem or placing the blame on the CIA does great harm to his government’s credibility.

The CIA may want to destabilize Morales’ government but it has more effective ways of doing it than by spreading corruption within YPFB. The CIA has the ongoing historical conflict to exploit between the western Coyas and eastern Cambas, which is threatening to split Bolivia into two countries. The US has also expressed concern about the expulsion of the DEA from Bolivia and the effectiveness of the government’s war against the illicit drug trade.

If we look at the biggest oil majors in Bolivia, they are not from the United States but from countries such as Brazil (Petrobras), Spain (Repsol YPF), France (Total) as well as others.

Taking into account the state of disarray that YPFB is in and the company’s failure in supplying the domestic market with enough energy such as diesel and LPG cylinders, it appears that the greatest harm to the company is committed by the Bolivians.

Blaming the CIA for YPFB’s corruption woes is like shooting oneself in the leg.

Below is a video where President Morales makes the accusation of CIA infiltration in YPFB. Apologies for the poor sound quality.

The article can be reprinted as long as as the source is cited.

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