While Washington may be comforted by Bolivian President Evo Morales’ failure to attract a two-thirds majority in July 2nd’s constituent assembly election, it would be wise to be aware of his assurances to extend the resource nationalization project into the energy industry. Such a project inevitably would pressure energy heavyweights, Corani, Guaracachi, and Valle Hermoso, three U.S. conglomerates, to renegotiate standing contracts and rates.
Similarly, the U.S. should also be wary of showing signs of relief, with the dust yet to settle in Mexico’s presidential elections. Even with a PAN victory, a clear-cut de facto transition from President Fox to Felipe Calderon is far from guaranteed. As the electoral outcomes are disputed, such discrepancies could go on well into Calderon’s December’s inauguration, if he in fact is selected. Additionally, there is no reason to count Andres Manuel López Obrador out of the political panorama. A leftist leader in his own right, and head of the Alliance for the Welfare of All, López Obrador, if he so chooses, could continue to be an ideological thorn in the sides of both Calderón and Washington. Washington should avoid any sign of any smugness in the upcoming weeks, as an uncertain future could see an eventually triumphant López Obrador and his PRD, as well as the path that will be taken by of Morales and Bolivia’s newly elected constituent assembly.