BOLIVIA: Kindly Pay in Advance

On the eve of the nationalization of Bolivia's three big tin companies, the revolutionary government handed them a whopping $520 million bill. The government claimed that the companies had made illegal profits by juggling foreign exchange accounts and evading income taxes.

For all the legalistic appearance of accounting to the last penny, the bill was strictly political. Orators of the government's National Revolutionary Movement have charged for years that the tin companies were getting away with huge sums. Now, by socking the three companies with demands far exceeding their own valuation of their properties ($60 million), the government hoped to...

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