January 9, 2013
Greg Palast, author of the NYT bestselling book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, reveals why the U.S. elite (aka: Big Oil) is so intent on ousting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez…..MONEY!
Who saw that coming?
Chavez was on very friendly terms with Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, so what changed? What made G.W. Bush’s administration provide intelligence and funding to get rid of the popular (well, with many) president?
Palast lays it out:
“Just after Bush’s inauguration in 2001, Chavez’s congress voted in a new “Law of Hydrocarbons.” Henceforward, Exxon, British Petroleum, Shell Oil and Chevron would get to keep 70 percent of the sales revenues from the crude they sucked out of Venezuela. Not bad, considering the price of oil was rising toward $100 a barrel.
But to the oil companies, which had bitch-slapped Venezuela’s prior government into giving them 84 percent of the sales price, a cut to 70 percent was “no bueno.” Worse, Venezuela had been charging a joke of a royalty – just 1 percent – on “heavy” crude from the Orinoco Basin. Chavez told Exxon and friends they’d now have to pay 16.6 percent.
Clearly, Chavez had to be taught a lesson about the etiquette of dealings with Big Oil.”
Read Greg Palast’s entire Op-Ed on Truthout.
(Get The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, the film that expands on Palast’s reports for BBC Television. It’s free for the next few days here, thanks to the generosity of donors to his Palast Investigative Fund.)