Friday, May 8, 2009

Obama's new best buddy leads the way

In a vision of the way things are going to end up in this country, Barack Obama's new BFF (Best Friend Forever) has taken some new, innovative steps to improve the economy of Venezuela...

Chávez Moves to Seize Oil Contractors' Assets

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez said Thursday his government will seize the local assets of some international oil-service companies starting Friday -- a response to threats by several firms to stop their work in Venezuela because of nonpayment of bills owed by state-run oil giant Petróleos de Venezuela SA.

Earlier Thursday, the National Assembly, dominated by supporters of Mr. Chávez, approved a law letting the government seize assets of oil contractors without following the usual procedures for expropriating businesses. Big oil-services firms such as Texas-based Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. aren't expected to be affected by the move, but dozens of other firms are.

The move is the latest sign of trouble in Venezuela's oil industry. Stung by lower prices for its crude-oil exports, Petróleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, has run up a huge backlog -- roughly $14 billion at the end of 2008 -- of unpaid bills with service companies that do much of the legwork in the oil industry, from maintaining wells to operating tugboats.

In words sure to warm the heart of the administration, Mr. Chavez rightly points out that the property of private, foreign companies who are involved in commerce in Venezuela certainly are open to seizure by the Venezuelan government at any time. That just makes sense...

"Tomorrow we'll start recovering the goods and assets that will now belong to the state -- social property as it always should have been," Mr. Chávez said in a televised speech Thursday. "Mr. Man on the moon, cover your ears because the cries of anguish from the bourgeoisie will reach all the way to the moon."

In President Obama's circle of friends "recovering" is what most people call illegal seizure of private property, i.e "stealing". I think the old commies referred to this as "liberating" stuff. I am sure that other foreign companies will line up to help Venezuelan countries with that sort of business friendly climate. Maybe our illustrous governor Jennifer Granholm can take some lesson from Chavez and President Obama on how to make Michigan even less business friendly than it already is.
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