VIO News Blog

October 31, 2008

Venezuela Sees Opportunity for Cooperation in Global Financial Crisis

President Chavez spoke again about the world financial crisis yesterday, saying that it should come as an opportunity to create new international institutions. According to the Caracas newspaper El Universal, the Venezuelan leader said the “dictatorship of the dollar” and the IMF has collapsed. Venezuela has played a key role in helping create multilateral institutions for regional cooperation such as ALBA, UNASUR, and the Bank of the South. El Universal also reports today that Venezuela donated $1 million to Paraguay to provide drinking water and health care to Indigenous communities suffering from a prolonged drought.

Venezuela’s Ambassador to Argentina visited the holocaust museum in Buenos Aires yesterday. The head of the World Jewish Congress dispelled false rumors that Venezuela’s government subscribed to antisemitism. He said, “it is gratifying to see this sign of recognition by the Venezuelan government of the dark tragedy that befell the Jewish people, something that President Hugo Chavez himself acknowledged during our meeting with him.”

In oil news, the AP reports that prices have fallen again to $64 per barrel. Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil made history yesterday when it reported record-breaking quarterly profits. Other private oil firms also saw successes; profits for BP jumped 83% and ConocoPhillips rose by 41%. Meanwhile, oil-producing countries are already feeling the negative effects the drop in the value of crude. An Iranian politician said, “The first wave of the crisis are the low oil prices that have reached us. This is a big loss.”

Finally, Bloomberg reports that Venezuela is inviting companies to purchase shares of oil projects in the Orinoco region. The state bought a majority stake in the projects last year. 47 oil companies are considering bidding on the Orinoco reserves (which comprise 1% of global supplies), including Chevron, Shell and Total.

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