Bolivia's Evo Morales nationalizes Spanish-owned airport company

LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivian President Evo Morales says he’s nationalizing a Spanish-owned venture that runs the country’s three main airports and is ordering the military to make sure the facilities stay operating.

Morales’ move Monday is the latest in a series of nationalizations he has ordered of mostly Spanish investments in what he considers public utilities.

The affected company, SABSA, runs the airports in the cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.

It is a joint venture between Barcelona-based Abertis Infrastructuras SA and AENA, Spain’s airport authority.

The move annulled a 1996 contract that was set to expire in 2015. Morales said Abertis-AENA didn’t make promised investments.

In January, his government took over a subsidiary of the Spanish-owned electrical grid company Iberdrola.

Spain’s government has issued a statement deploring the takeover.