Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hugo Chavez Threatens To Stop US Oil Deliveries As Punishment For Exxon's Collusion With Washington

Venezualan President Hugo Chavez isn't mincing words with the Bush Administration when he says that if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments "to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets," he will cut off Venezuela's exportation of oil to the United States. Given the Bush Administration's latest attempts to steal what rightfully belongs to Venezuela, there is little doubt that the British Court ruling will favor Exxon and set off what is certain to be another oil crisis.

Especially if as Chavez has threatened, the price of a barrel of oil will exceed the $200 mark. If this occurs Americans may well be looking at drastic increases in the price of a gallon of gas before the end of 2008. This would also likely lead to gas rationing as was last seen in America in 1973, during the OPEC Embargo in which a gallon of regular gasoline exceeded $3 (taking account for inflation that would be the equivalent of about $14 a gallon in 2008).

Those over the age of 35 will remember the long lines at filling stations across the country during 1973, and the odd and even days in which motorists could fill their gas tanks (depending on the last number on your license plate). As I recall, the situation became so problematic, that at one point motorists could only put a certain number of gallons of gas in their tanks at a time, and were carefully monitored by the station attendants to ensure that they complied.

It appears as if history is again about to repeat itself.

Associated Press

updated 1 hour, 23 minutes ago
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez on Sunday threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States 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. “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 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.

A British court has issued an injunction “freezing” as much as $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,” Chavez said, accusing the Irving, Texas-based oil company of acting in concert with Washington.

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 in courts internationally.

“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.”
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