If the Venezuelan government had the bandwidth to think longer term – which it manifestly doesn’t – it would grasp Keystone XL as a key strategic threat. The main reason anyone would want to take Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast is because that’s where the refineries that can handle crappy, high-sulphur, high-tar content crude are. And the whole reason they’re got built there in the first place is to handle Venezuelan crude. This is why KeystoneXL is such an important piece of the North American Energy Independence puzzle: it’s what it takes to shut Venezuela out of the North American market.
Of course, a government that’s long made it positively a policy goal to shift Venezuelan production away from the U.S. may not be able to register that as a threat. Ideology is always going to prevail with them. But that’s only the umpteenth policy mistake the Venezuelan government made today before breakfast.
Even in a post-Keystone XL future where Venezuela doesn’t have access to North American energy buyers, Venezuela will find buyers for its oil, of course. It’s just that it will have to ship that oil further to get it to refineries that will need to be reconfigured (or built from scratch) to handle it, and each part of that costs money: money Venezuela could use for any of the thousand pressing and growing policy problems going unaddressed right now.
The Communist regime in Venezuela finances itself and its parasites, including Cuba, through oil proceeds, all the more reason to approve KXL.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in a statement that the peace talks between the Colombian government and members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, currently under way in Havana, Cuba, would be suspended until further notice following the FARC’s capture of Gen. Rubén Darío Alzate in a conflict-torn region near the Pacific coast.
Mr. Alzate was taken hostage along with an army captain, Jorge Rodriguez Contreras, and a civilian lawyer, Gloria Urrego.
All throughout the “peace talks” taking place in Havana, the FARC continued killing and kidnapping. Former president and now senator Alvaro Uribe tweeted,
“639 soldiers and police murdered by FARC terrorists during dialogue with Santos.”
639 soldados y policías asesinados por terrorista Farc durante diálogo con Santos
But a Justice-OLC opinion is all the more necessary on domestic issues because the President’s authority is far more limited. He is obliged to execute the laws that Congress writes. A President should always seek legal justification for controversial actions to ensure that he is on solid constitutional ground as well as to inspire public confidence in government.
Until now the president has been able to ignore Mexico’s legendary lawlessness. He has been riding an international wave of excitement around the opening of the energy sector, with few questions asked. But unless he wants to make common cause with the hard left—which thinks it has him on the ropes because of the missing students—he needs to admit his mistakes, purge his cabinet and make the rule of law job No. 1.
That would be a first in Mexico’s history, a country that sees, as O’Grady puts it, “the traditional use of the criminal-justice system as a profit center for the state.”
Venezuela is importing oil as a direct result of its disastrous refinery fires a year ago. What is being imported is light sweet crude to act as diluent when blended with the very heavy crude oil so that it can be pumped from the fields to the terminals/refineries.
Without fully functioning refineries/upgraders, no diluent is being made (kind of like diesel)
Also being imported is diesel and gasoline.
There is severe ship congestion since terminals are not set up to receive the crude oil and refined products. Long waiting times (meaning a lot of extra cost in demmurage to shipowners)
Venezuela’s average oil-export price last week fell to $72.80 a barrel, the lowest in four years, pushing the yield on the country’s benchmark bonds to almost 19 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis. Oil accounts for 97 percent of foreign exchange income, which the country needs to pay about $28.5 billion of bond principal due in 2016.
To defend oil prices, Maduro said he sent the country’s foreign minister to five oil producers, including Mexico and Russia, to drum up support ahead of the Nov. 27 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which Venezuela co-founded. Back in the late 1990s, Venezuela ended a slump in oil prices by cutting production along with other OPEC and non-OPEC producers.
A Brazilian priest could become the Catholic Church’s first surfer saint after the Vatican agreed to consider his canonisation, five years after he drowned while surfing off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
Guido Schaffer, who was 34 when he died in 2009, was known in Brazil as the “Anjo Surfista,” or “Surfer Angel”.
. . .
Schaffer, who had trained as a doctor before studying to enter the priesthood, had worked with indigenous tribes in Brazil as well as with the poor.
Schaffer drowned a few months before his ordination.
Luego del numerito que armaron prendiendo fuego a la puerta de Palacio Nacional, distrayendo a los medios del verdadero motivo de la manifestación del sábado pasado, los rijosos llegan a la UdQ… y en el Cineclub de Nicasio: Interestelar
Russia’s long-range bombers will conduct regular patrol missions from the Arctic Ocean to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, the military said Wednesday, a show of muscle reflecting tensions with the West over Ukraine.
To remind you,
Earlier this year, [Russian Defence Minister Sergei] Shoigu said that Russia plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere for replenishing supplies and doing maintenance. He said the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore.
Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries about allowing long-range bombers to use their air bases for refuelling [sic].