VIO News Blog

July 22, 2008

Venezuela & Russia To Coordinate Energy Policy

Venezuela and Russia agreed to coordinate energy policy today after a meeting between both countries’ heads of state in Moscow.  Future agreements will serve to strengthen this “strategic alliance” that President Chavez often cites as critical in building a multi-polar world.  A range of contracts are likely to be signed in the near future, including the purchase of some military equipment that Venezuela has been restricted from buying from the US since 2006 when an arms ban was imposed. 

The Financial Times takes aim at Venezuela’s energy initiative, PetroCaribe today.  Rather than discussing the merits of the program, launched in 2005 to ease the energy burden on the Caribbean by eliminating the middleman and directly providing countries with oil at market prices made affordable through the use of beneficial financing terms, the article describes it as a “scheme” in existence to gain influence in the region.  To date, 17 countries participate in the program that also aids member countries in developing their energy infrastructure, improving the diversity of their energy sources, and increasing their energy efficiency.    

Closer to home, a Houston Chronicle editorial applauds the Venezuela-Citgo energy efficient lighting program while arguing that acceptance of the aid does not mean acceptance of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.  The program, announced in Houston last week, will provide compact fluorescent light bulbs to Houstonians this summer as well as to thousands of others throughout the United States.  The Chronicle posits that this local-global project was created to smear the Bush Administration.  In actuality, Citgo is simply offering the benefits of a highly successful government sponsored program in Venezuela to Americans. 


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