[Marxism] Chavez says cancer has returned, names successor (Nicolás Maduro)

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Sun Dec 9 18:32:53 MST 2012

I was not at all challenging either Venezuela's right to add value to
it's hyrdo-carbon exports or that it shouldn't. My 'challenge' in fact
is not to them at all. It's to the rest of the world that, among those
that *defend* what is going on in Venezuela, generally or broadly,
that his routinely ignored it. I think Stuart's second paragraph sums
that up.

But it is still very problematical in that I see no move, as Stuart,
contends, by PDVSA to move away from an oil dependent economy. Or at
least not a serious one. I've seen PSVSA and the PSUV talk about it,
but not much in terms of breaking out of it. It would be foolish for
them to even consider moving away from a hydro-carbon based economy.
Crazy. So long as their foreign exchange is for developing Venezuela
is based on hydro-carbon export, there simply will be little movement
in another direction. [not mention the huge technical and capitalist
interest in Venezuela continuing simply to reap export earnings, these
folks are quite happy to keep Imperialism just the way it is and not
challenge it all]. Nothing changes at all, regardless if they add
value or not, to these exports. (for example, if Venezuela could
develop serious diesel refinery capability, they could export to
Europe, as the US does with about 20% of it's oil production: buy oil
from West Africa, Canada and Mexico  (and Venezuela) and turn this
into diesel, and export it back out to Europe. Which is why for the
past 6 years diesel is more expensive than gasoline in the U.S.).

Where I think the left is blind is that we do NOT talk about it's
effect on the local and world environment. It's tar sands, just like
(though a different composition) the Canadian tar sands. Stuart
believes that I was implying that this is somehow 'bad'. I don't. But
it is what it is. Venezuela has the worlds *largest oil reserves* if
these tar sands are included, greater than that of Saudi Arabia. The
Orinoco river valley where most of this is extracted from is a mess,
some hereditary, some new as Venezuela has sought billions of dollars,
much from China, to develop these particularly nasty tar sands so they
can be extracted and exported for hard currency.

Venezuela, has, correctly, prioritized raising daily oil production
back up over 3million/bbls a day (PDVSA claims it has but it has never
fully recovered from the bosses strike many years ago). They have,
politically, prioritized, lowering their dependency on the US as their
largest market (this is where both Colombia, with a Pacific coast, and
China and Japan come in). That's a good thing, not a bad thing. It is
making, eventually, Venezuela a country just like other OPEC countries
that have a wide variety of export options. It breaks them out of the
neo-colonial relationship *to a degree* that PDVSA developed under and
Venezuela was always subject to. This strengthens the revolution in
Venezuela from a kind of economic "defense" against the nefarious
economic hit-men of the U.S. Additionally Venezuela has tried to do
import substitution for it's oil field and refinery service industry
so that more and more of the oil extracting industry components are
Venezuelan made (either through private companies or state owned
enterprises, either way it keeps the money and economic spin-off in

I'm actually not sure "workers control" has a thing to do with this
except how the industry could be run and it's effect internally among
the union membership and technicians running the extraction-refining
process. But that the tar sands development, globally, is not a "good
thing". And that the workers movement should recognize that this is a
devils' bargain in many respects.

>From the major effects this has on the environment, well...every thing
we say about Canadian tar sands applies to Venezuela as well: massive
carbon effluent in the form of GHG, chemical pollution, pipeline leaks
in very inhospitable regions and massive water pollution from all of
the above. Because of the nature of Imperialism, Venezuela has not

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