CHAVEZ WARNS BUSH AGAINST INVASION OF VENEZUELA TO SEIZE OIL RESERVES
by : Darryl Mason
Tuesday September 20, 2005 - 02:54
CHAVEZ OFFERS GUARANTEED SUPPLY OF OIL FOR 150 YEARS
FREE FUEL TO US POOR DURING THE KATRINA CRISIS
CHAVEZ CONTROLS 300 BILLION BARREL RESERVE TO US 20 BILLION BARRELS
By Darryl Mason
In an interview with US network ABC, on September 16, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez claimed he had proof the Bush administration were ready to invade his country in an attempt to seize control of some 300 billion barrels of oil.
He warned the Bush administration to retreat from such aggression and spoke of “a 100 year war” and the doubling of oil prices to more than $120 a barrel if any attempts of invasion or occupation were launched against Venezuela.
“I’m telling you that I have evidence that there are plans to invade Venezuela,” Chavez said in the interview. “Furthermore, we have documentation (to prove it).”
Chavez claims miliary intelligence sources have revealed details of ‘Operation Balboa’, a US plan to invade Venezuela using bombers and aircraft carriers.
If such a plan were carried out by the US, Chavez said he would withhold the 1.5 million barrels of oil his country transported to the US every day.
He called ‘Operation Balboa’ a “foolhardy plan” and said the US would not be able to control Venezuela, “the same way they haven’t been able to control Iraq.”
Chavez gave the interview while in New York City attending the UN conference of world leaders, after meetings with some of the most powerful politicians and business leaders in the country, as well as leaders of OPEC countries.
He rejected claims his country harboured terrorists, or was a terrorist state, pointing out the US was refusing to extradite criminals wanted in Venezuela for assassination attempts against the president and for plotting to blow up a civilian airliner.
Chavez claimed the Bush administration had ordered his assassination and had used the CIA to attempt a coup d’etat in Venezuela on at least two occasions during his seven years in power.
Chavez said he was no terrorist but he was a revolutionary, in revolt against injustice, inequality, immorality and the exploitation of the poor.
During the speech to the UN, Chavez said his country had the highest child literacy rate in the world, and more than 70% of the people had easy access to free, universal health care, two statistics unmatched anywhere else in the world, including Australia and the US.
Chavez cited Christ as an inspiration and said he admired Christ for being “a great rebel” who fought against the established powers of the first century who subjugated the poor and the weak.
“That is what rebellion is,” said Chavez.
“It’s rebellion out of love for human beings. In truth, that is the cause, the cause of love. Love for every human being, for every women, for every child, for every man, for every brother.”
Under Chavez, Venezuela has grown into an economic powerhouse, and with the second largest oil reserve in the world, every dollar increase in the price of oil pours hundreds of millions of dollars into the Venezuelan economy.
Venezuela owns eight major oil refineries valued at more than $US10 billion, which employ more than 2000 US workers and their families. Chavez is routinely courted by the heads of the worlds biggest fuel companies, including Chevron and Shell.
Under Chavez, Venezuela has weaved oil and gas and investment deals with Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, China, Cuba, Iran and Malaysia, and in the process formed a wealthy and powerful new alliance outside of the EU and the Australia-US-England grouping of countries.
Chavez said he only wants friendly relations with the US and to continue the oil supply that has seen Venezuela come to own the majority of fuel stations across the United States.
He claimed Venezuela had the second most important oil reserve in the world, after the Arab states, citing the US reserve of 20 billion barrels compared to Venezuelan reserve of more than 300 billion. The US uses up 10-15 million barrels of oil a day, of which ten percent comes from Venezuela.
Chavez said if the Bush administration resumes friendly relations and dismantles the alleged ‘Balboa’ plans of invasion and occupation, then he would guarantee to keep supplying oil to the US “for 150 years more”.
The Venezuelan president said “we love the people of the United States. We want to be brothers and sisters of the people of the United States, independently of their government.”
Chavez hit world headlines in recent weeks after US televangelist Pat Robertson, a firm Bush family friend, called for his assassination. Under new anti-terror laws, and incitement to terror laws, such calls for violence against the democratically elected leader of a sovereign country could have seen Robertson jailed for decades.
Robertson has since denied making the claims, saying he was “misquoted”, despite having issued the assassination call during an interview on his own television network. In the last few days Robertson has tried to correct the record by saying he only meant Chavez should be removed, “kidnapped” by the CIA. Kidnapping a world leader is also an recognised act of international terrorism.
While Chavez is obviously troubled by the aggression of such influential Americans, he appeared in the interview to be amused by Robertson’s attempts to talk himself out of serious trouble.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Venezuela offered doctors, rescue vessels, shipments of medicines and emergency supplies within hours of footage of the tragedy appearing on CNN. Bush refused the offer, to the bewilderment of Chavez, who then watched on for days as Americans screamed for help in the city of New Orleans and died, on camera, in the streets of the world’s richest country.
Chavez claimed that despite the refusal of the US to accept offers of medical aid and rescue vessels from Venezuela they had staged their own rescues in the Gulf of Mexico and donated millions of dollars to the state of Louisiana and the Red Cross.
Chavez has now ordered five ships carrying 300,000 barrels of gasoline each to the US, despite Bush’s non-reaction to offers of help from Venezuela.
The US Military’s Northern Command controls an area that extends five hundred miles off the coast of the entire continent of North America, according to the Northern Command website, and the fuel ships will need clearance from Bush to enter US waters.
Chavez said he is not shipping the fuel for the benefit of Bush, or to curry favour. “We’re not doing this for the administration. We’re doing it for the people of the United States.”
Venezuela had never had problems with the US until GW Bush came into office, claimed Chavez, and he wanted to create an environment of normality, such as he shares with the majority of the world’s leaders, many of whom gave his speech at the UN a round of rousing applause. The leaders of Australia, the US and Israel were noticeably absent during Chavez’s UN address.
“We love the people of the United States,” Chavez said on the ABC. “Our desire is to have a world of brothers in peace. God grant that that be the case.” Chavez finished his visit to the US by fulfilling a childhood fantasy. He played baseball with members of the New York Yankees during a training session.
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