Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chavez Abandons Socialist Principles... Save the Socialist System!
That could have been the title of a recent article in the New York Times.  Obviously, that phraseology is in reference to Bush's remarks that he abandoned free market principles to save the free market. And more recently, that he "Chucked aside" his free market principles.
Aside from a good news article and joke, which Venezuela's Hugo Chavez consistently provides, there are a few interesting facts that the article mentions.
Nationalizations in other sectors, like agriculture and steel manufacturing, are fueling capital flight, leaving Venezuela reliant on oil for about 93 percent of its export revenue in 2008, up from 69 percent in 1998 when Mr. Chávez was first elected.
In the past year, with higher oil prices paving the way, Mr. Chávez also vastly expanded Petróleos de Venezuela’s power, inextricably linking it to his political program. He directed the oil company to build roads, import and distribute food, build docks and shipyards and set up a light-bulb factory. He even expanded it into areas like milk production, soybean farming and the training of athletes after a weak performance at the Beijing Olympics.
As laughable as it may be, the article further states that that oil production may be as much as 100,000 barrels a day LESS than when Chavez took power.
One oil executive claims "An agreement on a piece of paper means nothing in Venezuela because of the way Chávez abruptly changes the rules of the game."
Perhaps a better title to the article would be "Atlas Shrugs in Venezuela."

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