Bolivian president ousted: How will the U.S. react?

On October 17, Gonzalo Sanchez de Losada, president of Bolivia, resigned in the face of massive public protests and fled to the United States. The new president is Sanchez de Losada’s former v.p., Carlos Mesa. The protest was about Sanchez de Losada’s devotion to “neoliberalism” and his government’s contract with an international consortium, Pacific LNG, to sell Bolivia’s natural gas, at a price fixed below market value, for export to the United States via Chile and Mexico.

How will the U.S. react to this? Will the U.S. react at all? How badly do we need the natural gas?

Here are a couple of links to articles about the coup or revolution or whatever they end up calling it. I could only find articles on socialist or leftist websites. (Are conservatives not even taking an interest?)

So far, the State Department has issued this statement:

and has also issued a travel advisory regarding travel to Bolivia:

Here’s a story about Carlos Mesa, Bolivia’s new president:

But I still can’t find any stories about U.S. reaction! Does that mean there won’t be any? This Mesa is a leftist, and we haven’t exactly been friendly with Chavez of Venezuela!

I don’t think either president makes much difference to the US if they get the gas in the end… like most politicians they are basically very similar and buyable.

My impression of Bush on Latin America is that he’s unwilling to intervene. I don’t think he figures it’s worth it. For once, he’s doing the right thing. (Cuba, as always, is an exception.)
It should be noted that this is despite pressure from loonies like Larry Kudlow, who on his show on CNBC once called for “regime change” in both Venezuela and Brazil. Kudlow is usually plugged in to how the far right of the Republican Party thinks, so when he says something like this, you can be sure he’s not alone in the sentiment. Don’t relax too much yet.

The US drug war caused this.

Our intervention caused the coup in the first place.

Care to expand on that thought?

He was warning Bush a year ago that his program to eradicate cocaine was likely to get him thrown out of office.

I found a link that supports your contention:

So much for thinking Bush could keep his hands off the place.

Thank you for that cite, pantom. I had no idea that Bolivian cocaine farmers were politically organized! Nor that Bolivian cocaine is exported to Brazil! There’s so much the U.S. media don’t bother to tell us . . .

It is interesting tonote that the company founded by Bush senior (Zapata) used to have major gas drilling operations in Bolivia. They got chased out years ago (and Zapata stock crashed). My guess is, Bolivia is so poor that they CANNOT withold their gas from the market. Anyway, Bolivian presidents/governments come and go with some regularity…there will probably be abnother Army coup before long!

Add to that the local culture of using coca leaves for tea and chewing… I recently returned from Peru and brought some Coca Tea. Nothing much.

Anyway it seems easier to erradicate coca plantations than to stop rich people from snorting white powder…

The U.S. reaction would appear to be, “What’s good for business is good for Bolivia…”

Speaking of ALCA/FTAA, I’ve got another GD thread going on that: “Latin American Dopers: Are you for or against FTAA?” – Which I guess is relevant to this one, and to the whole question of U.S. relations with Latin American countries.