Politics: Joe Kennedy’s back, playing Santa Chavez with a new sleigh full of Venezuelan heating oil for “the poor.” The tropical dictator’s politicized “gift,” however, comes with strings. We see Joe dancing on them.
What this is really about is advancing Chavez’s U.S. agenda, a big part of which is to blame U.S. oil companies for high oil prices.
High oil prices do squeeze the poor. But oil companies do not control them. Dictators such as Chavez do. Eighty percent of the world’s oil is held by inefficient state oil companies. Venezuela is one of the worst, producing its oil with scab labor since a 2003 strike, and it has also confiscated at least $1 billion in U.S. oil assets since then. Some industry analysts estimate that Chavez adds as much as a third of the cost to world oil prices. No wonder he wants someone else, like Big Oil, blamed.
Now he’s got a willing dupe. Besides browbeating oil companies, Kennedy also brought in politicians shilling for Chavez as well.
And bear in mind,
Oil companies, in fact, give far more to charity than Kennedy’s $25 million program. In 2006, Chevron gave $90.8 million. British Petroleum gave $106.7 million. Exxon Mobil gave $138.6 million.
I’m not a fan of Vicente Fox, but Alvaro Vargas Llosa writes, The Fantástico Mr. Fox: The strange fact that Vicente Fox is looking out for Latin America’s future. Fox is speaking out for the rule of law and the market economy.