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  1. #1
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    Chavez threatens to stop shipping oil to U.S.

    Chavez threatens to stop shipping oil to U.S.
    Exxon suing in British and Dutch courts to seize Venezuelan assets


    updated 1 minute ago
    CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez on Sunday threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States in an "economic war" if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.

    "If you end up freezing (Venezuelan assets) and it harms us, we're going to harm you," Chavez said, turning his words to U.S. President George W. Bush. "Do you know how? We aren't going to send oil to the United States. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger."

    Exxon Mobil has gone after the assets of Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, in U.S., British and Dutch courts as it challenges the nationalization of a multibillion dollar oil project by Chavez's government last year. A British court has issued an injunction "freezing" as much as US$12 billion in assets.

    "I speak to the U.S. empire, because that's the master: continue and you will see that we won't send one drop of oil to the empire of the United States," Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program, "Hello, President."

    "The outlaws of Exxon Mobil will never again rob us," said Chavez, accusing the Irving, Texas-based oil giant of acting in concert with Washington and being part of corporate "worldwide mafias."

    Chavez has repeatedly threatened to cut off oil shipments to the United States, which is Venezuela's No. 1 client, if Washington tries to oust him. Chavez's warnings on Sunday appeared to extend that threat to attempts by oil companies to challenge his government's nationalization drive through lawsuits.

    "If the economic war continues against Venezuela, the price of oil is going to reach $200 (a barrel) and Venezuela will join the economic war," Chavez said. "And more than one country is willing to accompany us in the economic war."

    Exxon Mobil spokeswoman Margaret Ross said the company had no comment. A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman in Caracas did not return a call.

    Chavez made the remarks along with other accusations that right-wing militias from Colombia are arming drug-dealing criminals in Caracas in what he called a U.S.-supported plot. Chavez provided no evidence as he said Colombian paramilitary fighters are in the barrios of Caracas doling out weapons and "selling cocaine below the market price, very cheap."

    The U.S. imported 1.23 million barrels of crude oil a day from Venezuela in November, making it the fourth-biggest source of oil imports behind Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Department.

    Those four countries, along with Nigeria, accounted for 74 percent of U.S. crude oil imports in November, the government said. By itself, Venezuela accounted for about 12 percent of U.S. crude imports, the figures showed.

    Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez has argued that court orders won by Exxon Mobil have "no effect" on the state oil company PDVSA and are merely "transitory measures" while Venezuela presents its case in courts in New York and London.

    Exxon Mobil is also taking its claims to international arbitration, disputing the terms it was granted under Chavez's nationalization last year of four heavy oil projects in the Orinoco River basin, one of the world's richest oil deposits.

    Other major oil companies including U.S.-based Chevron Corp., France's Total, Britain's BP PLC, and Norway's StatoilHydro ASA have negotiated deals with Venezuela to continue on as minority partners in the Orinoco oil project.

    ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, however, balked at the tougher terms and have been in compensation talks with PDVSA.
    ======================================================= ===

    I wonder if EM trying to use legal means is an indicator that the CIA and the State Dept. are as weak as they've ever been? Or maybe they're finding it difficult to perform in an environment where the American public aren't as ignorant to their ways as they were in the days of Mosaddeq.

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  2. #2
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    Grendel's Avatar
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    Chavez is fond of bluster. Cutting out the US puts a lot of pressure on their domestic oil industry. The particular type of heavy oil Venezuela is richest in is more difficult and expensive to refine than what's found in the Middle East. The Us is not only the closest, but the best equipped nation for the refining process.

    Heavy Crude: Why Venezuela and the US Need Each Other

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  3. #3
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    I'm taking as hard of a look at this as I dare, given that I have two kids who mean more to me than the usual bickering. However, I came up with this:
    The State Assumes Control

    Last month, Chavez ordered a state takeover of several major oil operations that had been controlled by foreign-owned corporations. France's Total SA and Italy's Eni SpA refused to cooperate with contractual changes mandated by Chavez. Sixteen firms, however, including Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp., and Spain's Repsol YPF, all agreed to the terms of a reworked contract with Venezuela that grants the state greatly increased revenue shares and operational control.

    Under the new contracts, income tax rates on windfall profits for oil companies will increase from 34 percent to 50 percent. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who is also president of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), expects an additional US$1.2 billion in revenue from the tax. Chavez has also indicated that PDVSA, which currently holds between 30 and 49 percent of heavy oil ventures, would assume "at least 60 percent" of the reworked operations that will be chartered for 20 years. "Venezuela has control of its natural resources," Chavez stated prior to a summit in Vienna with leaders from the E.U., Latin America and the Caribbean.
    http://www.pinr.com/report.php?ac=vi...&language_id=1

    Two questions: were these contracts changed before old contracts were up? (A 36% tax hike will be jolting to just about anyone - even Exxon Mobile.)

    Was Exxon-Mobile one of the named companies who initially agreed to the new contracts?

    (A third question: Am I even looking at the same contracts and/or terms? Some indications point to no.)

    Let's be real, too. Who is going to hurt if Chavez does this - Exxon or the working class? Which side is Chavez on - oil profits or the working man?

    Now the disclaimer: I do not mean to exhalt Exxon-Mobile in this case. But wow, Chavez is going to commit the same evil that he is outright attributing to Exxon in order to justify acting just like them. Nice.

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    Last edited by Luris Blear; 02-10-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Lets set the record straight.

    Bush is one of the top 5 worst presidents in US history however if this eqaully challenged wingnut Chavez is seriously considering pulling the plug.

    I say lets take em down. Launch the invasion and pull out of Iraq and Afganhistan, let the tribes handle the dirty work caused by the incompetant Bush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Detective John Kimble View Post
    Lets set the record straight.

    Bush is one of the top 5 worst presidents in US history however if this eqaully challenged wingnut Chavez is seriously considering pulling the plug.

    I say lets take em down. Launch the invasion and pull out of Iraq and Afganhistan, let the tribes handle the dirty work caused by the incompetant Bush.
    That's a fantastic plan, I think you should be President.

    Chavez is a lot more bark than he is bite. Like Grendel said earlier, the Venezuelan economy could possibly not deal with the shock of ceasing oil exports to America. It would definitely be tough on them.

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  7. #7
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    G is a smart man. You nailed it.

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  8. #8
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    I just love it when Hugo C. busts out and starts calling G-Dubs, "Mr. Danger."

    "Señor Peligro!"

    Hilarious.

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    Last edited by Grendel; 02-12-2008 at 05:23 PM.


    Patriot, n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to the interests of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerers. ---Ambrose Bierce

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
    Chavez is fond of bluster.
    Exactly my point. It's probable Chav has no intention of following through. The bluster is nothing more than a spotlight.

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    "Those who would give up essential liberty in exchange for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." Benjamin Franklin
    They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time no one was left to speak up. --Martin Niemoller

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