Wednesday, August 23, 2006


API Headline: Venezuela plans to export oil to China

Wow. There's a shocker for you. Hugo Chavez is taking more steps to diversify both his customer base for oil and his ability to strike fear into the hearts of our great leaders in DC. He's quoted in this article Venezuela will be sending off half a million barrels a day to China in the next five years, and implies the output will come as a result of further development. "The oil issue is of utmost importance because we are diversifying the petroleum business. We are moving toward a new petroleum model."

Chavez doesn't say the exports will directly come from development, nor does he mention dollar amounts he's getting for any new production or supply agreements, presuming they exist. But I would watch for upcoming Venezuelan weapons system purchases, particularly for effective shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. And it also wouldn't be too surprising if the jet Chavez travels on were to suddenly disappear off the radar out in international waters, not that such a development could fundamentally alter the internal dynamics or direction of Venezuelan, or current South American, politics. Much as it might make certain people feel better, killing Chavez isn't a great idea, and antagonizing him any further is even worse. Dead or alive, Chavez is a far greater threat to US imperial security than Iran is on its nastiest day.

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