Following the lead of Venezuela (which recently announced its intention to seize control of CANTV), Bolivia has confirmed plans to nationalize Entel, the nation’s largest telecommunications company, and has initiated talks with the carrier’s controlling shareholder, Telecom Italia (TI), on the acquisition of TI’s stake. TI acquired its 50.9% interest in 1996, the year in which Entel was privatized. Entel, which reported profits of U.S. $40 million last year, dominates the Bolivian telecom market with shares of 70% and 80% of the nation’s landline interexchange and mobile telephony sectors, respectively. Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is seeking to reinvigorate the government’s revenues, said Sunday that the government is exploring ways in which to retake control of Entel and other private enterprises owned formerly by the state. Asserting, “we have an obligation to recover these companies,” Morales said: “why can’t we recover this communications business?” TI officials offered no comment.