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Bolivian Protesters Lift Blockades


Bolivian anti-government demonstrators have begun dismantling roadblocks they set up nationwide weeks ago over the president's energy policy.

The protesters began clearing the roads Wednesday after the lower house of Congress partially met their demands for higher taxes on oil companies.

President Carlos Mesa wants to open the energy sector to more foreign investment, but the protesters say they fear those plans will lead to the looting of the country's natural wealth.

President Mesa also says tax increases will drive away foreign investment. On Tuesday, the president said he would ask Congress to approve elections in August, two years early, citing his inability to end the blockades.

Meanwhile, the United States says it stands ready to work with the international community to help Bolivia through its electoral crisis.

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