Fw: Lula to Aid Venezuela
pleau at prodigy.net
Sat Jan 4 14:52:38 MST 2003
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 11:50 AM
Subject: [VSG List] Lula to Aid Venezuela
Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003
By: Roy S. Carson
Brazil's new President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to aid Venezuelan oil
Brazil's new president has agreed with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez
Frias to send experienced Brazilian oil executives to break the back of a
month-long opposition impasse which has disrupted production and supply at
the State-owned oil corporation, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
Chavez Frias had yesterday (Wednesday) attended Lula da Silva's inauguration
in what has been described as the first peaceful transition of power in the
last forty years in Venezuela's southern neighbor. Top-level discussions
been taking place with executives at Brazil's Petrobras today to decide on
logistics in a unique technical aid package.
In Caracas, the Chavez Frias government has already begun remedial action to
separate a number of employees from positions where they have sabotaged
operations since December 2, 2002, in an increasingly futile attempt to
dislodge the democratically-elected Head of State. Chavez Frias told
reporters "we are going to begin conversations between Petrobras and PDVSA
see how this technical cooperation can be formed."
Chavez Frias had joined the leaders of 120 countries for Lula da Silva's
inauguration but he answered repeated questions about Venezuela saying that
"the striking oil workers have stabbed the heart of Venezuela ... they are
traitors of the homeland."
Venezuela's opposition-led saboteurs insist that national oil production has
been culled to just 190,000 barrels from a full capacity of 3 million
a day, but Chavez Frias says pre-December levels will be reached again in 45
days. Nevertheless, the crisis has contributed by no small means to a spike
in world oil prices, to now in excess of $30 a barrel.
A Brazilian oil tanker arrived in Venezuela last Saturday with 525,000
barrels of gasoline to stave off the effects of the opposition's
self-inflicted shortages of fuel with long lines at gas stations throughout
the country that are still open.
* Chavez Frias said today that he has asked Lula da Silva to send more
Brazilian gasoline to Venezuela, and that Brazilian tankers could carry
Venezuelan oil to refineries in the Virgin Islands to ensure supplies to
Back home in Venezuela, Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry
president Carlos Fernandez (who replaced Dictator-for-a-Day Pedro Carmona
Estanga after the latter pulled off the April 11 coup d'etat and attempted
close down the Venezuelan Congress and the Judiciary), is still demanding
that Chavez Frias should call a consultative referendum on February 2 or
But his support is dwindling as trade union mafia boss, Carlos Ortega
to answer challenges on his own dubious "election" to the Confederation of
Trade Unions (CTV) leadership and is said to be preparing for a quick exit
from Venezuela to an undisclosed location in Europe as his chips go down
coming weekend and as supermarket chains and big businesses prepare to go
back to work on Monday.
In what is seen as sheer desperation, the opposition is claiming again that
Chavez Frias is trying to impose heavy-handed rule similar to that of Cuba's
Fidel Castro, but they are unable to explain how such widespread liberties
are tolerated under the supposedly totalitarian Chavez Frias rule they
Meanwhile the Internet is abuzz this Thursday evening with emails calling
Venezuelans resident in North America to congregate at CITGO service
on Saturday (December 4) to demonstrate against the democratically-elected
Chavez Frias government and its wish to impose law & order ... and
The email agitators say that they want volunteers to picket CITGO gas
stations in a pots & pans protest but warn that participants should treat
"gringos" with respect and explain why they don't want them to buy gas.
Brazilian President Lula da Silva says "the great priority of foreign policy
during my government will be the construction of a politically stable South
America that is prosperous and united ... for that, it is essential to take
action to revitalize Mercosur, which is weak for the crises of each one of
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