VIO News Blog

October 10, 2008

Venezuela Will Go Without McDonalds for 2 Days

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 11:16 am
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Honduran lawmakers voted yesterday to join the regional alliance known as ALBA, the Boliviarian Alternative for the Americas. AFP reports that an opposition member in Congress commented that he “cannot oppose any measure meant to benefit the poor.” ALBA is a regional integration program that involves trade as well as a social agenda to tackle poverty, hunger, disease and social exclusion. Honduras becomes the 6th member of ALBA. Venezuela proposed ALBA as an alternative to the US-backed FTAA, plans for which appear now to have stalled indefinitely.

Sources report today that all 115 McDonald’s restaurants in Venezuela will be closed for 48 hours as a punishment for tax irregularities. According to the BBC, President Chavez has “taken on” US firms in the past in nationalizations. However, Venezuela’s purchase of oil projects in the Orinoco never saw that country “pursuing a legal battle” with ExxonMobil. On the contrary, Exxon bucked the terms of compensation talks and went around the process to freeze the assets of Venezuela’s state oil company.

El Nuevo Herald reports on the recent news that Venezuela’s government will tighten spending by officials. The president warned of a new “zero waste” policy in the state budget. The measures will “first reduce costs, do away with wasteful spending, end corruption and unnecessary expenses, put an end to mega-salaries,” Chavez said.

Finally, Venezuela may propose that OPEC adopt a system of “price bands” to help stabilize oil prices. Platts news service reports that former Ambassador to Washington Bernardo Alvarez described the plan to the National Assembly yesterday. Alvarez pointed out that Venezuela still sends “over 1.2 million b/d, every day,” to the US.

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