EFE REPORTS FOR FocNews Latino:
Rousseff open to idea of Brazil-Bolivia rail link
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday after a meeting with Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales that her government is willing to study a project to build a railroad between the Atlantic coast of her country and Bolivia.
“We decided to make a study and an economic evaluation” of the project to determine its viability, Rousseff told reporters at a joint press conference with Morales, who has been promoting that idea for years.
Rousseff did not say whether this project would connect with the railroad system that her government agreed last year to develop in partnership with Peru and China, and which would link northeastern Brazil with Peruvian ports on the Pacific.
She said her government will support any initiative that leads to greater integration with Bolivia, a country she considers “fundamental” for Brazilian development.
As an example, she noted that 30 percent of Brazil’s natural gas needs are covered by Bolivia, which daily pumps some 32 million cubic meters (1.1 billion cubic feet) of that fuel through a pipeline.
Rousseff, who sees Bolivia becoming one of the “great energy centers” of South America, said she also spoke with Morales about importing liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas from his country sometime in the future.
Morales, meanwhile, said that Brazil could aid the development of Bolivia’s agricultural sector.
“We really need to acquire Brazilian technology to help our small farmers,” he said.
The Bolivian president also suggested more bilateral cooperation in healthcare, particularly with regard to the Zika virus.
“We have problems with the (Aedes aegypti) mosquito in Bolivia like they have here in Brazil,” said Morales, who noted that both the Mercosur trade bloc and the Union of South American Nations have started weighing alternatives for a united campaign against Zika, which is present in more than a dozen countries in the Americas and is suspected in Brazil of being linked to birth defects.
Morales thanked Brazil for the support it has given his government and said that, thanks in part to that cooperation, poverty in Bolivia has dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent in the 10 years he has been in power. EFE
Bolivia needs to make this happen, Brazil had also offered this connection between the Pacific and the Atlantic to the Peruvians, bypassing us; also offered to Paraguay, thru Argentina and Chile, also bypassing us.
If this coca grower leader would lead Bolivia as president instead of trying to perpetuate himself in power, would be much better, had we lose this fantastic opportunity would be to serious detriment to our economy.