Opinion Forum considers Venezuelan oil policy
AT ISSUE: After Exxon Mobil challenged Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s choice to nationalize Venezuelan oil, Chavez threatened to cut off crude oil supply to the company. He accused Exxon Mobil of being "imperialist bandits."Is Chavez’s latest announcement a way to reinforce his popularity at home or did he have a right to cut off oil sales?
Chavez needs to rethink his decision
Without the consent of the Venezuelan parliament, President Hugo Chavez has attempted to halt the sale of crude oil to U.S.-based oil company Exxon Mobil. Is anyone really surprised that Chavez would attempt something such as this?
According to an article from GreenLeft online, the intentions of Chavez were to gain full sovereignty over Venezuelan natural resources. There are many countries like Venezuela that want to be completely sovereign and free of everything associated with the U.S., but in this case refusing to sell crude oil to Exxon Mobil would mean an economic disaster for Venezuela.
Equity gained from companies such as Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron could fund national programs such as education and welfare. It could also go toward national security and the enhancement of the military. Regardless of whether a government dislikes certain politics or political practices, it should first take into consideration the welfare of the country.
Obviously Chavez was not thinking about the aftermath of his decision. Think about it. After Sept. 11, President Bush played on the emotions of Americans in order to declare and fund the war on terrorism. Similarly, Chavez would rather sacrifice the stability of his country and the welfare of his countrymen to wreak havoc on the U.S. and its government.
Corrupt Exxon Mobil the real beneficiary
This is the first time Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has cut off oil to the U.S. This comes as a surprise, considering that the U.S. is Venezuela’s No. 1 petroleum buyer. But if one keeps up with current events one would understand the negative history Exxon Mobil has had. Throughout the years, Exxon Mobil has been involved in many foreign government corruptions and bribes by buying the rights to place refineries in national parks throughout Equatorial Guinea in Africa.
Exxon Mobil and other oil companies were under investigation in connection with $500 million paid into the private U.S. bank account of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, according to Global Witness, a London-based anti-corruption campaign group. If Exxon Mobil is the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, why could it not follow the simple laws implemented by the Venezuelan government off the Orinoco River basin, one of the world’s richest oil deposits?
It is easy to understand: corporate hegemony is a common act of yet another American company forcing its way through another nation. Venezuela exports 1.5 million barrels of oil to the U.S., making it the fourth largest supplier to this nation. Chavez does not gain popularity by calling Exxon Mobil "imperialistic bandits;" the only one profiting from these circumstances is Exxon, giving it another justification to increase oil prices by 12 cents in the last week.
Venezuelan oil is Venezuelan oil
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is being anomalous once again. When he’s not calling our president "Satan," he is planning to nationalize oil. He probably has a very good reason, even though Venezuela might face consequences from the international community, which will probably "boycott" Venezuelan oil. The U.S has a major interest in this.†Oil nationalization would mean the companies that are cozy with our government would be severely upset. And when you upset the oil companies, you upset the U.S. government.
The Venezuelans are like many Latin Americans: they hate us meddling in their affairs. The U.S. has backed coups in Latin America, used international institutions to put countries into debt and taken the assets of sovereign nations. Venezuela had the great fortune of paying its debt to the World Bank, a corrupt organization that puts the countries into huge debt while upholding the veneer of "progress."
Hugo Chavez is the knight in shining armor, he will stand up to the U.S. Even if Chavez’s actions caused some to raise objections, he would become a popular messianic figure,an upstanding example to all nations on how you can fight the man and win. Of course, most other countries do not have the assets that Venezuela has, but this does not mean the idea will die. It will only live on to annoy the U.S.