We Americans hate Venezuela’s spitfire Julio Chavez for kicking our ass anytime he has the opportunity to do it, but is the nationalization of the U.S. oil firm Hemerich and Payne [H&P] in Venezuela not strictly business to protect their own national interest? I wonder.
H&P had stopped operations because it was not paid $49 million PDVSA owed. Payment was not forthcoming since the country was in a deep recession.
Last year Chavez nationalized several oil service companies Venezuela owed for similar stoppage that H&P did, thus plunging the economy into a deeper recession with a 30% annualized inflation. Chavez believed foreign companies were delivering a heinous blow to the country’s economy and Venezuela must survive.
Similar to civil disobedience, stopping production at the time of crisis by revenue-producing foreign oil companies in Venezuela was a deathblow the country has to deal with in a state of emergency. Chavez described this as sabotage, the evil of "parasitic bourgeoisie".
I don’t think this Venezuelan president needs to be a Communist that Washington wants to see hanged by the neck until dead for abusing the United States. Whoever is the president of the United States will do the same thing Chavez did if foreign corporations here are doing what they were doing there in Venezuela, or even worse. Most likely, bank assets of countries that own those foreign corporations will be frozen, and airports closed to "enemy" airlines in the name of national security, etc. That was what Reagan did that scared the wits out of Khomeini during that infamous hostage crisis involving our diplomats in Teheran which ex-president Jimmy Carter was so inutile to deal with. Iran has no recourse but to release the American diplomats that the Khomeini gang has been holding hostage for some time until the newly elected president Reagan gave Teheran an ultimatum.
We have a huge oil investment in Venezuela. It is not only H&P and other oil-related multi-billion dollar projects in the "vast Orinoco oil region" of Venezuela that are our eggs in the basket out there but also U.S. "global giants" like Haliburton, Schlumberger and Baker Huges are operating there. Let’s just say that they are in the devil’s lair.
My concern is, needling the devil to make it furious and out of control is not the way how to act if you are in hell. In the Western Hemisphere, we are dealing with an ego-maniac in our own backyard. Shining his boots rather than jerking it off his feet with the force of a nuclear threat, will not calm down Chavez, it will only break his civility loose; and in the eyes of the world he will go banana in destroying the image of the United States.
Washington should train more in jungle warfare before we send a business Rambo to Venezuela to get Chavez. This radical communist stays in power, perhaps will even stay longer than Castro stays in power in Cuba because we have not learned a lesson from our Bay of Pigs incompetence in dealing with shady adversarial communist leaders who behave similar to this movieland’s cartoon villain in the Beauty and the Beast – an ugly but benevolent character, a hero in the communist world idolized by millions of followers. And it is even sadder to think now that with Obama, our diplomacy stinks! Obama supported Chavez’ indictment of the United States as an Evil Empire, so that Obama can blame this evil on former president George W. Bush. So long as Obama can crucify Bush, he doesn’t mind even if Chavez pictures all Americans like Bush – the "El Diablo" from hell. It seems that Obama just enjoys hurting Bush, especially by picturing himself as the opposite of Bush’s evildoing.
But look here: Obama had crucified Bush for sending our soldiers to what he described then when he was a Senator, as an "illegal" war in Iraq and Afghanistan to just die there for – in his mind -- a faulty cause.
Now Obama is up to his neck in this wrong war … worse than Bush! He spat it up in the air and catches it on his face!
Chavez lost his mind and in rage nationalized recalcitrant foreign oil corporations in Venezuela. A journalist colleague asked me: Between Obama and Chavez, who do you think is crazier?
It is your privilege to answer this question. To score a homerun, I leave this heat to the readers.