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Gun At Your Head: One Party Rule In Venezuela

The case before you is one where a government of an oil state is exploiting its power and its corporate extentions to crush dissent and remove Democracy from a third world country. Why hasn't the press made a story of this? Simple,the government is headed by a leftist, as we all know the press template states that "left is compassionate", therefore no crime committed in the name of socialism can be said to have been committed.

You just stepped into "The Tyranny Zone...."

CARACAS, Venezuela Aug. 13, 2004 — If President Hugo Chavez loses a bitterly contested weekend recall referendum on his rule, one of the biggest challenges for the opposition would be to stabilize labor relations within Venezuela's government-run oil company. An opposition government would have work with Chavez loyalists currently running Petroleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, while appeasing almost 19,000 employees fired last year for participating in a crippling strike many of whom have poured their energies into the recall effort and are desperate to get their jobs back.

The situation in the world's No. 5 oil exporter could further upset global markets, where prices are already soaring to record highs of more than $46 a barrel.

Industry experts have said disruption to Venezuelan oil production is unlikely if Chavez wins Sunday's vote, which most analysts and pollsters say is too close to call. While street protests could erupt if opposition leaders allege fraud, Chavez loyalists tightly control PDVSA, making another damaging strike unlikely.

And heres where it gets interesting

The scenario of Chavez winning the referendum is "perhaps the best in terms of calming the market of fear of losing additional supply," said Roger Tissot, the head of markets and countries for Washington-based PFC Energy. "The oil markets will react positively."

Apparently, You can have Democracy or you can have a stable oil market, its your choice.

But Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, a staunch Chavez loyalist, fueled fears of unrest if Chavez were to lose, suggesting Friday that PDVSA workers would rebel if they thought the opposition won through fraud.

Fraud is defined by leftists as any time democracy doesnt suit their needs.

"There is no way that our public will accept including our oil workers a defeat of the 'No,'" Ramirez told a news conference. "The only way that the 'no' could lose would be through fraud."

On Sunday, citizens can vote "no" to keep Chavez in office or "yes" to recall him.
Tough choice, you can eat and feed your family or overthrow a thug. Leftists argue that democracy can't be forced onto people, but apparently it can be pried out of their hands if you make them weak enough from hunger.

Chavez, for his part, has repeatedly promised to abide by the outcome of a vote and urged followers to do the same. But Ramirez's comments underscored tensions at PDVSA, where the staff consists of government-friendly managers, military officers and an anti-Chavez minority that managed to hang on to their jobs.

We have a name for a place here in North America that operates much the same way, its called "New Jersey".

Fired oil workers argue they were sacked illegally and deserve their jobs back. If the opposition wins the election, partisan oil workers say they will not unfairly target Chavez supporters, but any employees accused of corruption or other crimes must go.

You follow that? Vote for the referendum, you get fired and then we kill you, that's the message. The compassion of socialism. It makes your heart swell doesnt it?

Opposition leaders must "convince those who are running the company that their jobs are not going to be threatened because of their political affiliation," Tissot said. "They would basically have to depoliticize PDVSA, and that would be a challenge."

Ya think?

Compounding tensions, Venezuela would be in political limbo for at least a month if Chavez were to lose Sunday. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel would take power until new elections are held, and Chavez has already said he would seek re-election.

You cant separate a leftist from power, its like taking a junkie away from the needle.

"During those 30 days, I would say markets would be extremely nervous," Tissot said. "Demand has been very strong, and that's what makes markets nervous. Any barrel lost translates immediately into very high prices."
Chavez and his "sugar daddy" Fidel Castro are very interested in making the price go higher. A disrupted oil suppy will sink the American economy and thus help assure that the President is defeated. The title of this piece " Gun at your head" - Its your head, and the gun is held by Chavez.

Regardless of who wins Sunday, PDVSA faces a dire need for investment in oil exploration and production, Tissot said. The industry has not fully recovered from last year's strike, which cost Venezuela an estimated $7.5 billion and plunged the economy into a wrenching recession.

Critics also say the firings cost the company crucial expertise and manpower, though Chavez insists they helped cut costs and trim a bloated bureaucracy.

Chavez claims Venezuela is pumping more than 3 million barrels a day, equal to the amount produced before the strike.

Oil industry insiders disagree, placing output at 2.5 million to 2.6 million barrels per day. Production will not fully recover without a massive investment, they say.

Ignacio Layrisse, a former PDVSA production manager designing the opposition's proposed oil policy, said $18 billion must be invested over two years to boost output.

Bear in mind lovers of democracy who call yourselves "Democrats", Chavez has flown Cuban troops to enforce order in towns and cities throught Venezuela. I blame Ashcroft and I blame the timing of this story, Im sure Hallburton is proping up Chavez.

UPDATE: As of Sunday night 21:00 PST, no official word has been received. Reports have been made of stunning turnout. The Oil futures markets may be a clue, as they are climbing higher, thus signalling that Chavez may may just be going "buh-bye".

August 14, 2004 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

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He's also posted an engaging entry which explains the chaotic political situation in Venezuela. It appears that, sooner or later, the mess in Caracas is going to grow into a significant international problem. [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 15, 2004 4:29:56 AM

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