Venezuela’s Oil Refinery Blaze – Seven Good Reasons To Suspect Sabotage

 

By James Petras
9-3-12

“You can’t exclude any hypothesis … It’s practically impossible that here in an [oil] installation like this which is fully automated everywhere and that has thousands of responsible workers night and day, civilian and military, and that there is a gas leak for 3 or 4 days and nobody responds.  This is impossible.” — President Chavez responding to US media and opposition charges that the explosion and fire at the oil refinery was due to government negligence.

Amuay Refinery

Introduction

Only 43 days before the Venezuelan presidential election and with President Chavez leading by a persistent margin of 20 percentage points, an explosion and fire at the Amuay refinery killed at least 48 people – half of those were members of the National Guard ­ and destroyed oil facilities producing 645,000 barrels of oil per day. Continue reading

Presidente Chávez anuncia firma de convenio energético con estatal argentina YPF

Brasilia, 31 Jul. AVN.- Tras su llegada a la capital de Brasil para participar en la cumbre de Mercosur, el mandatario venezolano, Hugo Chávez Frías, informó este lunes que Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) establecerá un convenio energético con la estatal argentina YPF.

“Mañana firmaremos un convenio entre PDVSA e YPF”, dijo Chávez, en declaraciones a la prensa en Brasilia, acompañado por el ministro de Petróleo y Minería, Rafael Ramírez; el canciller Nicolás Maduro, así como de los titulares de las carteras de Comercio e Industrias, Edmée Betancourt y Ricardo Menéndez, respectivamente.

Chávez estimó que con el establecimiento de alianzas con las estatales petroleras de Brasil y Argentina permitirá que se vaya “diseñando Petrosur, así como una vez nació Telesur, Unasur o el Banco del Sur”.

El Jefe de Estado reiteró que con la entrada de Caracas al bloque regional “se está completando la ecuación dentro del Mercosur”, debido al inmenso potencial energético venezolano y la fachada al Caribe que ofrece su ubicación geográfica. Continue reading

Venezuela formally joins Mercosur trading bloc

South American leaders wave as they pose during the official photo shoot at the annual summit of the Mercosur trade bloc in Mendoza, Argentina, June 29, 2012.

Venezuela has become a full member of the Mercosur regional trading bloc following a six-year-long delay.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez is now set to take part in a ceremony in Brasilia, which celebrates Caracas’ membership in the South American trade bloc.

The visit to Brasilia will be Chavez’s first official trip abroad in a year after his being diagnosed with cancer in June 2011 and his treatment process in Cuba.

Mercosur is an economic union and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay founded in 1991. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.  Continue reading