Police in Bolivia used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who took to the streets protesting a hike on the price of fuels Monday.http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/12/28/bolivia.gasoline.strike/index.html
The price of gasoline has risen 73 percent while diesel fuel rose at least 80 percent.
The unions representing the public transit workers called for an indefinite national strike in protest which was partially successful Monday.
Bolivian President Evo Morales defended the increase, saying it was needed partly because of Bolivian fuel being sold illegally to other countries, the state-run news agency ABI reported.
The government had frozen the price of gasoline and diesel for six years and subsidized the cost -- making the fuel a lot cheaper than in neighboring countries.
As a result, trafficking in fuels made it a very profitable business, said Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera.
Every one of these south American left wing authoritarians promising to regulate their people out of poverty eventually makes things worse for the poor.