July 2, 2010
Chavez Charade: Simple Solution Unsolved
A quick quote, then simple syllogism:
Venezuela's government has seized control of 11 oil rigs owned by U.S. driller Helmerich & Payne, which shut them down because the state oil company was behind on payments.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez announced that Venezuela would nationalize the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company's rigs. He said in a statement Wednesday that Helmerich & Payne had rejected government demands to resume drilling operations for more than a year.
Helmerich & Payne announced in January 2009 that it was stopping operations on two of its drilling rigs, because Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, owed the company close to $100 million. It said it would shut down the rest of its rigs by the end of July as contracts expired unless PDVSA began to make good on its debts.
That's the set-up; now the pay-off:
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said he hopes Helmerich & Payne is compensated and suggested the takeover and other recent nationalizations are scaring off private investment in Venezuela.
"We would just call on them, if they did make such a move, to compensate the owners of those wells," Toner said. [Pretty please? Sugarcane on top? --DaH] "This is the latest in such an instance where international investors, their investments are being nationalized by the government of Venezuela. It doesn't speak or bode well for the investment climate there."
That's it? That's the sum total of the Obamic Statist Department's response to a foreign prince seizing the private property of an American company?
I have but a single question: How much money does Venezuela have socked away in Western banks based in friendly nations? Or in American banks, for that matter.
Given that Venezuela's President Oogo Chavez is BFF with an Iranian chap named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with active military cooperation between the two nations, is it really too much of a stretch to the imagination to suggest that there is a ready-made source of compensation for Helmerich & Payne, and any other company which has seen its assets "nationalized" (stolen) by the Venezuelan Kleptocracy... a money source that should spring immediately to mind at the State Department?
Oh well. Perhaps the problem is that the Barack H. Obama administration doesn't recognize private property in the first place; and in the second place, is loathe to raise any sticky questions about the nationalization of private capital.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 2, 2010, at the time of 2:21 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/4486
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
I suppose the State Department could write a scathing letter about the issue... but to what end? Is Oogo going to shake in his boots if we do? I don't think so; the man is clearly not rational when it comes to dealing with the US.
On the other hand, I have very little sympathy for H&P... Oogo has been stealing private property in the name of the State for years. I would have to conclude that it was a known cost of doing business there. Maybe they can petition to get it back after the next revolution or something. I wouldn't be happy either... but I wouldn't be surprised that it happened.
The following hissed in response by: Ken Hahn
When has the Obama administration ever cared about US interests? Obama likes Chavez better than he does American business.
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