It has been almost three years since Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia with a historically unprecedented mandate and began to implement political and economic changes long demanded by a majority of Bolivians. As a result of the 2005 hydrocarbons law and re-nationalization of the hydrocarbons sector in 2006, the government has gained $1.3 billion dollars, or about 10 percent of GDP, from 2004-2007. The government has begun to use these revenues to increase public investment and spending on social needs. It has also initiated a number of political changes, perhaps the most important being a new constitution that voters will consider in a referendum in the coming months.
This event, with Luis Arce, Minister of Finance and Carlos Villegas, Minister of Development and Planning examined Bolivia’s economic and political changes, as well as the conflicts resulting from opposition to these changes. Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, made the introductory remarks.
Presentations by Minister Luis Arce and Mark Weisbrot