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Venezuela in Nicaragua

Jpm2000000pmMon, 12 Feb 2007 16:42:28 +000007 23, 2007

Just recently, President Hugo Chavez has announced that Venezuela will help establish oil production in struggling Nicaragua (one of the poorest nations in Central America).  Chavez claimed that producing 150,000 barrels of oil a day will help Nicaragua to begin fighting its current energy crisis.  Ironically, Nicaragua has claimed that it will maintain membership in the Central America free trade agreement, which the United States is a member, as well as joining ALBA (the equivalent to CAFTA for the leftist countries in the region).  It seems like the bickering and competition between the United States and Venezuela will create a predicament for many of the Latin American nations who might have to choose sides.  Therefore, the smaller nations will have to choose to either side with Venezuela in its fight against the neo-globalization practices of the US—don’t forget the debt and Banana Republic history in the region which caused so much strife and destruction—or side with powerful United States.  I realize this is rather presumptuous, and a delicate balanced relationship can be maintained, but for how long? Projects such as helping Nicaragua develop oil to help their crisis seem to most likely improve the case for Venezuelan influence in the nation.   

The relationship between the United States and Venezuelan is a rather baffling one.  While Chavez openly calls Bush a pendejo, slanders the US, and even blames the Bush administration for the attacks on 9/11, Venezuela continues to supply a dramatic amount of oil to the US.  Despite the strife, Chavez has yet to end the oil relationship between the two nations and Venezuela continues to produce a substantial amount of the United State’s oil. However, because of the deteriorating relationship between the two countries, the United States has declared that it intends to eventually stop buying oil from the South American nation.  What will these ramifications be?  According to the data from my earlier post, Venezuela currently is dependent upon the United States for 30% of its imports and 50% of its exports (much of that being oil).  Therefore, a distruption in the economic relationship between the two nations would hurt the South American nation.

Chavez is an ardent critic of globalization and promotes his democratic socialization (a form of socialism that encourages democratic grassroot involvement.  He wants to unite Latin America with his plans and reforms—which counter the visions of the United States.  But, he continually relies on trading with the United States, providing oil for our dependent nation.  What is more, after Katrina hit the South, the Chavez administration was the first government to offer aid to the region.  Bush refused the aid from Venezuela.

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One comment

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