Friday, March 04, 2005

Chavez: If the US meddles in Latin America, we will destroy our own economy and drive myself from office.

Oh wait! That is what he meant; this is what he said:
New Delhi (dpa) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned Friday that his country would stop oil supplies to the United States if it "hurts" Latin American countries, news reports said.

"If there is any aggression, there will be no oil," Chavez told reporters in the Indian capital, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and about half of its annual oil exports go to the United States.
Here's the CIA factbook's most recent economic overview for Venezuela:
"Venezuela continues to be highly dependent on the petroleum sector, which accounts for roughly one-third of GDP, around 80% of export earnings, and more than half of government operating revenues. Despite higher oil prices at the end of 2002 and into 2003, domestic political instability, culminating in a disastrous two-month national oil strike from December 2002 to February 2003, temporarily halted economic activity. The economy remained in depression in 2003, declining by 9.2% after an 8.9% fall in 2002. In late 2003, President CHAVEZ committed himself to $1 billion in new social programs, money the government does not have."
Chavez's rather obvious attempt to show solidarity with Cuba pleases Castro, I'm sure, but an action like that in response to any instability in Cuba as a result of the winds of freedom passing over the island would just as likely be an act of killing two birds with one stone. Chavez would be ancient history before the price rise at the pump topped 5 cents.

Of course if he shores up his popularity with more acts like this, not to mention this, Chavez may find the winds of freedom passing over Venezuela on the way Cuba.

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