Trouble is brewing for the oil industry is Latin America. First it was Venezuela that refused to privatise its oil industry and then slapped an 80 per cent tax on their operations- Bolivia followed suit by renationalizing foreign oil companies’ assets. Now, it seems, it is Ecuador’s turn.

More…Ecuadorean oil officials have cancelled Occidental Petroleum’s operating contract after a long-running dispute over the payment of taxes. The state oil company Petroecuador has begun to take over offices and installations run by the Occidental.

Although the Ecuadorian government says that other oil companies have northing to fear, the US government is not amused. It is said to be “disappointed” and is canceling free-trade negotiations with Ecuador. In response Ecuador’s says the move amounts to “blackmail”. Every heard of the US government blackmailing governments before… where have you been?