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Venezuela: Some lose ends...

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

26.04.05 | While the Venezuelan Government continues to say that CITGO’s refineries in the US are losing money, Valero Energy will become the largest US refiner in the US with its purchase for US$ 6.9 billion of refiner Premcor., whose stock has doubled in the last year. According to analysts these transactions are talking place because refiners are “swimming in cash”. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan Government dismisses this report, in which a former executive says he resigned because it was hard to “keep track of the company’s cash flow”. Maybe its hard to swim in cash and keep track of it at the same time. And in another article, it is shown how Chavez has named his cronies to work at CITGO and they have no experience or even a clue about the business. The problem is that rather than swimming in cash, CITGO appears to be badly mismanaged at a time that it should be making huge profits. If oil prices should drop, imagine what would happen! I wonder if this is why they call it “La Revolucion Bonita”. Or is it because the children of revolutionary oil executives drive $200,000 cars?

-- Japanese oil company Teikoku, said that the increase in taxes for the marginal oil field projects would make it impossible to make a profit from the fields it runs. The company said it would need to receive incentives from the Venezuelan Government in order to continue the projects.

-- On Chavez’s Sunday’s program Alo President, Chavez said that among the evidence that the US is planning an invasion of Venezuela was the fact that a US woman was caught photographing a military installation. Chavez also said that “several other Americans” were caught taking pictures of oil installations. The US Ambassador in Venezuela said that to their knowledge no American woman has been detained in Venezuela in recent months. He did say that a US woman enlisted in the military lost her purse in Maracay, where there are military installations. Her purse had a disposable camera. I guess the invasion will be low tech.

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