If Hugo Chavez were working on a tree farm somewhere in Vermont, he would be a candidate for psycho-therapy.
The Venezuelan strongman, who only last week threatened to "cut off the oil supplies to the United States", said yesterday he was only kidding.
Chavez said U.S. motorists "shouldn't worry" about Venezuela cutting off oil supplies.
"We don't have plans to stop sending oil to the United States," Chavez said on Sunday during a visit to heavy-oil projects in Venezuela's petroleum-rich Orinoco River basin that were nationalized last year.
Elsewhere, it's been reported that Chavez sent his ambassador to the U.S. to beg the U.S. to beg Exxon Mobil Corporation not to freeze Venezuelan assets.
Venezuela's ambassador to the U.S. has asked Sen. Richard Lugar to press Exxon Mobil Corp. to drop legal measures that have frozen $12 billion in assets worldwide.
"Through tactics that can only be compared with the very discredited strategy of pre-emptive war, Exxon Mobil has clearly violated the terms of the arbitration process," Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela's ambassador to the U.S., said in a letter to the Indiana Republican that was released by the embassy Friday. Lugar is the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Of course, if Exxon Mobil were a Venezuelan corporation, there'd be no begging. Chavez would just arrest the officers of the company, throw them in jail and then spend the accumulated wealth from their work on trying to prop up his government.
As Anna said:
Of course Venezuela would not be over a barrel and begging the war-mongering gringos of the United States if they had abided by the contract they had with Exxon.
Instead Hugo Chavez thought, since he was in charge, that he could merely violate a written contract between the country of Venezuela and Exxon to fully exploit an oil field in the name of social justice.
Exxon has merely acted in the interest of its shareholders, who's money is invested in this oil field, to protect its investments, to keep sacred such contracts in the future, and to prevent anyone else from trying this trick.
We'll agree with all that.
Maybe the U.S. should send Anna to Venezuela to be the ambassador.
Or perhaps Chavez should hire Anna to advise him on the perils of nationalizing a foreign company's assets in the first place.
Of course, if Hugo Chavez were working on a tree farm somewhere in Vermont, he wouldn't need an adviser or help with the consequences of his nationalization actions.
But one suspects, he'd still be a candidate for the psycho-therapy.
* Hugo Goes Begging
* Chavez: US Motorists shouldn't worry about Oil
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.