VIO News Blog

September 25, 2008

Venezuela Promises Oil to China and Elsewhere, Calls Bush “Comrade”

Venezuela’s new commitment to increased oil shipments to China will not affect its ability to deliver elsewhere, according to the AP. “This is not going to affect supplies to any other country,” President Chavez said. “Venezuela is one of the few countries whose oil reserves allow them to take up enormous commitments around the world.” The AP also reports that new oil tankers and refineries indicate Venezuela’s increased production. “While the world enters an energy crisis, we are investing,” Chavez said.

China and Venezuela also addressed new cooperation on aircraft purchases and a telecommunications satellite, according to sources. After the visit to China, the Venezuelan leader moves on to Russia. Two opinion pieces today take issue with the tour. The New York Post labels Chavez a “petro-tyrant” and cites military equipment purchases from Russia, but fails to point out that a weapons embargo prevents Venezuela from acquiring such goods from the US. The Boston Herald wrongly claims that the Venezuelan leader is “a dangerous thug” with “enablers here in the U.S.” No mention is made, of course, of the thousands of low-income families across the US that rely on millions of dollars in discounted heating oil from Venezuela’s Citgo each winter.

In related news, President Chavez recently referred to President Bush as a “comrade” for his Wall Street bailouts and pointed out that the US leader had finally recognized the “financial tsunami” long warned of by Venezuela. Reuters reports that Chavez sang “You are so like me” at a news conference. Indeed, the New York Times has labeled recent Wall Street bailouts “Socialism, 21st Century Style,” and many commentators have pointed out the hypocrisy of the costly move by the free-marketeering Bush White House.

In Venezuela, the AP reports that two men have been detained on suspicion of plotting to kill the president. Grenades and an anti-tank weapon were seized by authorities, who have not yet released the identities of the men.

Finally, Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke at the UN Summit in New York Yesterday, where he reassured investors and indicated that talks with the opposition are restoring political stability to his country. According to the AP, Morales also repeated criticisms of US Ambassador Goldberg, who was expelled from Bolivia recently for holding repeated secret meetings with the same opposition groups that initiated the violence. A delegation of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will visit Bolivia to conduct an independent investigation of the events that caused scores of peasant deaths and an economic upset.

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