venezuela becomes number 1


cortezzz
#1
from The Independent & The Independent on Sunday


16 April 2006 01:10

Expert View: The joke's on Bush as Chavez strikes it even luckier


Estimated oil reserves have just overtaken those of Saudi Arabia


By Christopher Walker


Published: 16 April 2006


There is nowhere on this earth quite like Caracas. Certainly the business traveller has no shortage of time to admire the physical beauty of its setting - two-hour traffic jams characterise this oil-boom city, where petrol costs a mere tuppence a litre. We'd better get used to it. For Venezuela has just overtaken Saudi Arabia in its estimated oil reserves to become number one in the world. Venezuela is here to stay.


When the reports of the country's latest good fortune came through to New York, a banker turned to me and said: "Surely by now George Bush must realise God is not on his side." Even under the old estimates, Venezuela already had its place as a major oil producer guaranteed for the next 80 years. Now it would appear to stretch into infinity. Together with the Middle East, Caracas will be the major force in world energy markets.


In Venezuela itself, high oil prices are having dramatic effects. The Dallas-like skyline is testament to an economy that grew by an astonishing 18 per cent in 2004 and nearly 10 per cent last year. Oil now accounts for well over 80 per cent of exports and more than 50 per cent of government revenues.


And the important point about these enormous revenues is that they are in the hands of President Hugo Chavez, sworn enemy of President Bush. Chavez's Fifth Republic Movement has a powerful majority in Parliament and he looks set to be re-elected for another six years in the presidential elections later this year.


At home, Chavez is fostering his "21st-century socialism", an interesting blend of state control and capitalism, which sees the state establishing its own companies to outdo the private sector. This is combined with strict controls on prices, bank lending and foreign exchange.


Chavez has delivered tangible benefits to the many millions of peasants who make up the bulk of Venezuela's population. Food handouts and free medicine are the order of the day, ensuring that Chavez's weekly TV show, Hello, Mr President, has mass appeal. It lasted six hours the Sunday I was there.


Abroad, Chavez is a thorn in the side of Bush. He has become a figurehead for all those Latin American countries tired of American arrogance, taking over where Fidel Castro left off in what Chavez calls the "axis of good". Venezuela is using its oil revenues for a variety of social programmes across the continent, spending an estimated $2bn (£1.1bn) in neighbouring countries alone. It has even rubbed George's nose in it by providing the poor of Boston with free winter fuel.


The scope for a US response is limited. While the wilder fanatics in Washington play with military schemes and give encouragement to secessionists in the nest of Venezuela, the reality is they will have to keep their fire well away from this tinder box. For Venezuela is America's number-one oil supplier, providing more than $100m worth each day. That's the joke - it's American money financing all this anti-Americanism.


Venezuela is a unique country, its political system the opposite of Bush's America, and its social dynamic the most intense version of what is going on across the continent today. But the reality of its energy windfall means that Americans and Europeans must get used to it and seek to understand. The wild card is very much part of the pack.


Christopher.walker@ tiscali.co.uk
 
zoofer
#2
You must be sick in the head to champion communist Venezuela over North Americans Cortezzzzzzzz

Why not move to Cuba or France? You will be happier.
 
cortezzz
#3
i didnt write the article

great article though

--chavez has delivered tangible benefits to millions of peasants--- is that what you mean by communism..

im very happy here--
so moving isnt an option for me
the idea is to bring cuba and france and venezuela- HERE!

perhaps it is you who should move
i would suggest

austria
or antartica

increasingly---- your side becomes discredited--- and slowly weakens

do not fear the coming age of global communism--- i mean communism as defined by chavez---helping the poor and destitute---

que viva Venezuela!!!
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#4
I don't quite see how good fortune for His Excellency Hugo Chavez , the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , would be some sort of negative thing for the United States of America . If increased revenue for the people of Venezuela would amount to higher-calibre social programs and services, then I would think that this would be a good thing.

In terms of His Excellency the Honourable George Bush , the President of the United States , I don't think that he would be particularly interested in whatever reserves there may happen to be in Venezuela. Perhaps once whatever increased revenue which may be incurred results in better programs for the people of Venezuela, the novelty of having Mr. Chavez head the nation might expire.
 
zoofer
#5
Quote:

Internally, Chavez has already rewritten the constitution, stacked the courts and begun throwing political opponents into jail. And some say he is now looking beyond Venezuela's borders. With billions of dollars in oil profits, Chavez is buying advanced Russian fighter planes and helicopters, dramatically increasing the size of his armed forces and integrating it with Cuba's

I imagine all with your ultra leftwing approval Cortez. Did you have these 5th column views when you came to Canada?
The screening process must have been the shits.
 
Toro
#6
Anyone who knows anything about energy markets knows that Venezuela is sitting on vast amounts of heavy crude. I mean, its not like they woke up one day, and BANG!, there's another 300 billion barrels of oil sitting in the ground. Its been there all the time.

Venezuela has the world's largest known deposits of heavy crude. (Heavy refers to the density of the oil). But the Venezuelan heavy crude is expensive to produce and refine at around $40 a barrel, and OPEC has never counted it in the official reserves since oil had never risen above $40 until recently. Allocation of production in OPEC is dependent on official reserves, which is one reason why Venezuela has announced this. Chavez suggested that the official price of oil be "fixed" at $50. (Of course, you cannot fix the price of oil since OPEC accounts for about 30 million barrels of oil per day produced out of 85 MM b/d globally, but you can heavily influence it.) However, by using a $50 benchmark price, OPEC would be acknowledging that Venezuela, not Saudi Arabia, would have the largest deposits in OPEC, and thus be allocated the greatest amount of share. Of course, using Chavez's logic, Canada, not Venezuela, would have the largese deposits in the world. Perhaps the writer missed this little point. But in OPEC, they're all cheaters and liars anyways (and rational economic players) since they all are running at full capacity, regardless of quota.

But it doesn't really matter though, since Venezuela's productive capacity has fallen since Chavez was elected President. Venezuela produces about 2.6 million barrels of oil perday, which is below the official 3.3 MM b/d the government claims. A strike by the national oil company PDVSA which led to the firing of thousands of employees (some of whom have ended up in Alberta), and Chavez's attempt to install cronies in PDVSA at the expense of technical people has lead to production declines at PDVSA. Also, the government has been altering the terms of contract and threatening the multinationals. 16 of the 18 foreign companies operating in Venezuela changed the contracts, but 2 left. Its unlikely that the remaining companies will leave under current conditions but many will be hesitant to invest in new projects when the government arbitrarily changes the rules, and PDVSA doesn't have the ability or the capital to expand production. Heck, it can't maintain production.

Thus, for the time being, the practical reality is that it doesn't matter how much "more" oil Venezuela has.
 
Toro
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox

I don't quite see how good fortune for His Excellency Hugo Chavez , the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , would be some sort of negative thing for the United States of America . If increased revenue for the people of Venezuela would amount to higher-calibre social programs and services, then I would think that this would be a good thing.

In terms of His Excellency the Honourable George Bush , the President of the United States , I don't think that he would be particularly interested in whatever reserves there may happen to be in Venezuela. Perhaps once whatever increased revenue which may be incurred results in better programs for the people of Venezuela, the novelty of having Mr. Chavez head the nation might expire.

It doesn't, 5Par.

America doesn't care how the revenues are allocated in Venezuela any more than they care how oil revenues are allocated in Canada. What they care about is that the assets of American companies are not expropriated and that Venezuela doesn't use the monies to export revolution and create more Cubas.

Other than that, America doesn't care. America does business with countries like the Gulf states and Brunei, nations that share a large part of their oil wealth.
 
cortezzz
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by zoofer

Quote:

Internally, Chavez has already rewritten the constitution, stacked the courts and begun throwing political opponents into jail. And some say he is now looking beyond Venezuela's borders. With billions of dollars in oil profits, Chavez is buying advanced Russian fighter planes and helicopters, dramatically increasing the size of his armed forces and integrating it with Cuba's

I imagine all with your ultra leftwing approval Cortez. Did you have these 5th column views when you came to Canada?
The screening process must have been the shits.

i have no doubt that i am a better citizen than you

my approval of
the left is approval of mankind
this view-- you say i have
is normal here
you make it sound like
im the outsider
when its people that you who are

your are free to leave
to more closely serve your master
due south of Kunuckistan

i sense your frustration
your anger

it is somewhat justified
for
i see your side failing
falling

you are weakening

que viva chavez
que viva che

PS-- i was born here
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#9
I see reeducation in Zoofers future, kanucistan demands it.
The stuff Zoofer spreads can be connected legaly with the war crimes he supports, after the revolution we'll have to round up all the corporate war mongers and charge them and sentence them to perpetual community service.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#10
Be careful not to inflict too much damage upon the corporations. You'll need them to support your new bureaucracy and standing army.
 
cortezzz
#11
Hugo -should nationalize the oil companies operating in venezuela---
buy them out for the sum of one american dollar

but not yet

hence the preparation
hence the military build up
hence the the expectation of invasion

righteous!!!!!!!

socialism must be defended

Hugo is our man
 
Sassylassie
#12
Global Communism, isn't that an oxi-moron? I mean Communism is nothing more than an Elite few controlling Industry and the Unwashed masses, usually via a corrupt Military that enforces the Elite's Agenda. Oh sure they feed you, pay you a small pay check and pay for your education but you are under the "Complete Control" of a few elite ego maniacs. No thanks, I don't think Communism will have any place in politics in North America in the next five hundred years.

Toro good post.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#13
No one will invade Venezeula or vis versa.

But yes, military build up is important within a state system, that is changing and evolving constantly.
 
Toro
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Said1

No one will invade Venezeula or vis versa.

Well, they might if they follow Cortez's advice.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

Quote: Originally Posted by Said1

No one will invade Venezeula or vis versa.

Well, they might if they follow Cortez's advice.

True.

But, Chavez is trying to implement an outdated system of loyalty to him, instead of the state itself. It might work though, even Peron was welcomed back after he was ousted, so who knows.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#16
Chavez will feed the bellies the minds will follow.
 
cortezzz
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

Quote: Originally Posted by Said1

No one will invade Venezeula or vis versa.

Well, they might if they follow Cortez's advice.

fifty cents
 
Sassylassie
#18
Yes Beav, starve them first then feed them and then brain-wash or inforce by Military Brutality complete compliance of body, mind and soul. Wow, I thought the Commie Doctorine died 20 years ago.
 
cortezzz
#19
twenty five cents
 
cortezzz
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Sassylassie

Yes Beav, starve them first then feed them and then brain-wash or inforce by Military Brutality complete compliance of body, mind and soul. Wow, I thought the Commie Doctorine died 20 years ago.

the north american fascists-- are really concerned at the prospect of social justice and real democracy breaking out--
so they label this strategy-- communism

the fascists-- are defeated in south america---
we have to now concentrate on defeatinng them here
so that they cant interfere with ---well south america
and anywhere else for that matter

as i see right wing america fail and others begin to stand up
i feel more and more hopefull for the future
 
I think not
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by cortezzz

the north american fascists-- are really concerned at the prospect of social justice and real democracy breaking out-- so they label this strategy-- communism

I wouldn't call socialists fascists, but hey, your call.

Quote: Originally Posted by cortezzz

the fascists-- are defeated in south america---
we have to now concentrate on defeatinng them here
so that they cant interfere with ---well south america
and anywhere else for that matter

The fascists aren't defeated yet, Castro is alive and well. If you want to defeat them in Canada, vote Conservative or Liberal.

Quote: Originally Posted by cortezzz

as i see right wing america fail and others begin to stand up i feel more and more hopefull for the future

When I see both the radical right AND left I will feel hopeful for the future, till then, hunting season is open.
 
cortezzz
#22
you are confused
 
I think not
#23
Not at all, why not use Castro as a prime example of what you want Latin America to become? Too socialist for you? Pick a country so we can use a frame of reference, so we know what you're talking about.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#24
hey Zoofer, I am not a commie but I do support the efforts of Chavez. America is not a democratic nation its a large conservative empire. I don't see America suppling heating fuel to their poor, I don't see America helping the poorest of the poor in
South America like Chavez is. Hell the Americans have been sticking their nose into south american affairs for decades, propping up right wing dictators and stealing the resourses of that region for little or nothing only to charge large profit for the product in North America.
I believe all natural resourses should come under the control of a strong central government. Not altogether owned by the government but tightly controlled and subject to change for the good of the nation. And at least Chavez is standing up to the United States. The only problem is if they invade Venezeula they will have to fight all of south america as they are all sliding to the left. Soon central america will take the same road to destiny.
Under the Republicans, the Americans will be more and more marginalized, as the economies of India and China grow and the rest of the world will not need to feel the oppression of the American thumb any longer.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by cortezzz

Quote: Originally Posted by Sassylassie

Yes Beav, starve them first then feed them and then brain-wash or inforce by Military Brutality complete compliance of body, mind and soul. Wow, I thought the Commie Doctorine died 20 years ago.

the north american fascists-- are really concerned at the prospect of social justice and real democracy breaking out--
so they label this strategy-- communism

the fascists-- are defeated in south america---
we have to now concentrate on defeatinng them here
so that they cant interfere with ---well south america
and anywhere else for that matter

as i see right wing america fail and others begin to stand up
i feel more and more hopefull for the future


But democracies don't have leaders for life.

I can't figure out why pro-Chavez people don't find that puzzling.
 
jimmoyer
#26
http://www.caribbean-media.net/articles/article352.html

caribbean-media .net




Some Venezuelan television channels began altering their programs Thursday, citing fears of penalties
under a new law restricting violence and sexual content over the airwaves.

The law, which took effect Thursday, limits broadcasts deemed to be obscene or violent and details a range of offenses for which the government may fine noncompliant media organizations.

The private TV channel Globovision blocked out photographs of street violence with white space when
it displayed the day's newspapers, filled with coverage of Wednesday riots that police said left at
least 25 injured.

"We cannot show the images," said Carlos Acosta, who hosts the morning news program "Front Page," as cameras focused on several Caracas newspapers.

President Hugo Chavez signed the Law for Social Responsibility in Radio and Television on Tuesday
night, following its approval by legislators last month.

Critics say the law threatens press freedoms and have dubbed it the "gag law."

But Chavez and his supporters say they are committed to freedom of expression. They say the changes will ensure more responsible programming and television that is suitable for children and adolescents.

The law distinguishes between news and opinion programming. It also bans "vulgar" language, images of sex and "psychological" or physical violence from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

One clause prohibits "images or graphic descriptions that show real violence or its consequences." The law allows the government to impose fines and permits regulators to close down stations that break the
rules.

Officials defend the law as a way to improve the quality of television and radio programs and say it is
similar to laws in other countries.

The law, which includes 31 articles, requires at least 50 percent of a radio station's programming to be
Venezuelan music and at least 85 percent of its commercials to be Venezuelan-made.

Desiree Santos, a lawmaker in Chavez's governing party, said the law allows TV channels to air coverage of events that can turn violent. She cited coverage of Wednesday's riots, which erupted when police tried to clear street vendors from parts of downtown Caracas.

"What they cannot do is show morbid images, then repeat them over and over again," Santos said.

Media who suggest they are being forced into self-censorship are "exaggerating," she said.

Some TV hosts disagreed.

"We are adjusting everything at the channel to (respect) the law," Globovision talk show host
Leopoldo Castillo said in a telephone interview. "We are walking on thin ice."

Chavez has clashed repeatedly with news organizations critical of his government, accusing them of
conspiring against him. Media executives deny the allegations.

Chavez's critics say the law could be used to restrict opinion programs and make TV and radio stations
responsible for what interviewees say.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez, host of "The Interview" on Radio Caracas Television, obliged two street vendors
"to swear" Thursday that neither he nor his channel had pressured them into making statements critical of police who quelled Wednesday's riots.

That channel's president, Marciel Granier, said there will be scheduling changes to comply with the law but that "we cannot resort to self-censorship."
 
cortezzz
#27
yawn
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#28
cortezzz , contribute something meaningful, or park it somewhere else.

jimmoyer , thank you for having posted such an interesting article. In terms of this new law, I would suggest that it borders dangerously close on state-sponsored censorship of the mainstream media, and would urge His Excellency Hugo Chavez , the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to reconsider such a measure. I think that many entities in Venezuela are going to feel "gagged" by this enactment.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#29
What a let down.
 
jimmoyer
#30
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2905683.stm

news. bbc. co. uk /2 /hi /entertainment /2905683 .stm



TV battle in Latin America

Nick Higham
BBC media correspondent


Imagine a world in which Tony Blair hosts a television programme called Hello, Prime Minister from locations around the country every Sunday on BBC One and on every BBC radio station.

Imagine this programme, in which he lambasts his political opponents and cries up the government's achievements for three or four hours at a time.


Imagine he also commandeers airtime on ITV and Channel 4 and Five at peaktime, sometimes two or three times a week.
And then imagine a world in which news coverage on those same commercial channels is routinely hostile to the government - while the BBC, of course, is a government mouthpiece, its programmes preceded by video vignettes in which Union Jack-waving workers and peasants march across the screen in slow motion to the accompaniment of stirring music.

It is of course unthinkable - in Britain, but not in Venezuela.

I have just returned from my first visit to Latin America, and I found it frankly staggering.

Venezuela is the most deeply polarised country I have ever been to.

Deposed

Since 1998 its president has been Hugo Chavez, a populist swept to power on a promise to do something, anything, for the two-thirds of Venezuelans living on or below the poverty line.

Last year he was briefly deposed in a coup (until the military switched sides to reinstate him).


Last December the middle classes, whose own standard of living has been plummeting, began a two-month general strike to try and unseat him.
They fear he is trying to "do a Castro" and turn Venezuela into a kind of Cuba, proudly independent and desperately poor.

The strike succeeded only in paralysing the economy, which enjoyed what the economists call "negative growth" of nine per cent last year and is predicted to shrink by a further 20% this year.

Throughout, the media have played a shamelessly partisan role.

Chavez thumps the tub every Sunday in his programme Ola! Presidente.

Economy

In the edition I saw (number 144) he was broadcasting from a new workers' housing development somewhere in the provinces, taking time out to attack the invasion of Iraq.

Venezuela, whose economy depends on oil exports, thinks America's purpose in the Gulf is to smash Opec and drive down the price of oil.

In 1998 Chavez was the first head of state to visit Saddam Hussein in Baghdad since the Gulf War.

Dr Marcel Granier, chief executive of RCTV, which along with its rival Venevision is one of Venezuela's two main commercial channels, maintains that TV coverage of the 1998 election was relatively impartial and that government spokesmen are still given airtime in his station's news programmes.

But in Granier's view the government are "a gang of felons" with little belief in democracy and the rule of law.

Given his shameless use of state TV and radio, Granier says Chavez has no right to complain if commercial TV channels are biased against him (Granier does not concede that they are, though other observers disagree).

Resents

RCTV's Todos Intimos, at 9pm each night, is currently one of the top-rating telenovelas or soap operas which dominate the ratings in Venezuela - which may be why Granier so resents what he calls Chavez's frequent "confiscation" of RCTV airtime during Todos Intimos's transmissions.

With the country's major newspapers all lined up against Chavez, the president himself feels beleaguered, railing against middle class "saboteurs" out to destroy his populist revolution.

The result: there is nowhere ordinary Venezuelans (or visiting foreign journalists, for that matter) can turn for reliable, impartial coverage of affairs.

Like most Latin American countries Venezuela's history is one of dictatorship: a lasting democracy was only established in 1958.

Civil society has had less than half a century to take root. Television's inability to stand back from the fray is a reflection of Venezuela's wider social failures: almost certainly, it is also making things worse.

To use a metaphor appropriate to a petroleum-based economy, Venezuela's broadcasters aren't pouring oil on troubled waters, they are fuelling the flames.

This column also appears in the BBC's publication Ariel.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...nt/2905683.stm

Published: 2003/04/01 09:44:22 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

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