Venezuela vs Guyana – Economic war (a real one) – Caracas Chronicles – Venezuela

Venezuela-Map -27 May 2015

Offshore areas claimed by Venezuela (in green)

Venezuela vs Guyana – Economic war (a real one)

Francisco Toro / June 12, 2015 – Caracas Chronicles – Venezuela

What do you call it when a country throws its military assets behind a campaign to bully and intimidate a much smaller, poorer neighbour for the purpose of spooking away foreign investors and preventing it from carrying out strategic investments?

If the words “Economic War” are to mean anything, shouldn’t they mean that?

This post is a call to get real: what’s happening on Venezuela’s grandiloquently self-styled “fachada atlantica” (the eastern border it disputes with neighboring Guyana) is nothing but an attempt to give off-shore oil investors in Guyana cold feet.

This isn’t the prelude to a war, or an invasion, much less some adolescent fantasy liberation of a long-lost corner of the patria. It is just the mindless bullying of a tiny, poor country by its larger neighbour in some dick-swinging display of primate dominance. Nothing more, nothing less.

Read more:

( Note: Our thanks to Clyde Duncan for making us aware of this article)

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  • Helen  On 07/15/2015 at 7:18 am

    I doubt that Exxon will be scared away. The U.S. will make sure that Venezuela’s threats come to naught. I agree that this is just a dick-swinging attempt by Venezuela to intimidate Exxon and the Guyana government. I think a couple of U.S. warships standing by in our waters should do the trick.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 07/15/2015 at 11:15 am

    I had my own vainglorious comment, but I prefer some of the other comments in the Caracas Chronicles – I paraphrased [my meaning] check them out:

    Ronin: [in part] Bismarck’s words may come true – “The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood.”

    Dr. Faustus: I disagree …! There is no need for “iron and blood” when the negotiating table will work just as well. Bring Maduro and his boys to the table; fill the water glasses with left-over “Jim Jones” Kool-Aid; shut off the air conditioning due to a power failure [they would never be suspicious of such a common day occurrence]; and watch the bodies fall from the table. No need for a Krupp cannon when you still have left-over Kool-Aid.

    Syd: Imagery – “…. some dick-swinging display of primate dominance.”

    I will take the liberty of combining two comments:
    Juan Cristobal Nagel and Roy – The next step, though, lies in the politics of this. What needs to happen – and what Guyana needs to give us – is an exit strategy. Something that allows Venezuela to save face; like give us a tiny island some where and leave it at that – or simply take us to the Hague [can they?] Regardless, there needs to be some finality to this issue if we are ever going to get along.

    “Something that allows Venezuela to save face” – Internationally, Venezuela does not have much face left to save. I am certain Guyanese would negotiate and make concessions in return for some sort of finality, but only if Venezuela were negotiating in good faith. Venezuela has already demonstrated a lack of good faith by rejecting the previous deal that stood uncontested for 64 years. Furthermore, Venezuela is still illegally occupying Ankoko Island in Guyana.

    Roberto N: All due respect, Juan, Guyanese don’t have to do Jackk Diddly Squat.
    Possession is 9-tenths of the law, goes the old legal maxim, and in this case it is more like 100-percent. As long as the status quo continues, it is Guyana’s game to lose and NOT Venezuela’s to win.

    Daveed: A lawyer friend told me point blank that Venezuela has zero case. He pointed out that since the Arbitration, both Venezuela and Guyana have been behaving like the Essequibo belongs to Guyana.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 07/15/2015 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing Clyde. Here are two articles published in this week in the USA:
    VICE News, July 14:
    Washington Post Blog, July 13:

  • guyaneseonline  On 07/29/2015 at 12:37 am

    by Juan Cristobal Nagel – Caracas Chronicles: A Disaster In Brasilia?

    If you scan the vanilla-red webpages of Venezuela’s “hegemonized” media, you might learn that Nicolás Maduro went to a Mercosur summit in Brasilia today. Speeches were given, documents signed, and nothing major came out of it.
    Good thing we have the foreign media to give us the scoop. Apparently, Maduro, in a hissy fit, skipped the luncheon. Take it, Jornal O Globo (my translation from the original Portuguese):
    Irritated with the treatment [Brazilian] President Dilma Rousseff gave her Guyanese colleague, David Granger, the President of Venezuela left the Heads of State Summitt of Mercosur early. The Venezuelan delegation left before the luncheon given by the hostess this Friday, after statements by Granger regarding what he calls ‘provocations’ from Caracas, who is disputing a border area known as the Essequibo.
    It all began when Dilma met with Granger in a bilateral meeting moments before the summit began. Maduro had arrived earlier and tried to participate in the talks. The Brazilian President, however, did not authorize his entry into the meeting.
    During the meeting between Dilma and Granger, the President of Guyana asked for Brazil’s support in mediating a peaceful solution. Dilma accepted. Later, while the Venezuelan avoided mentioning the subject in his summit speech, Granger, who spoke after the Venezuelan, cited the conflict.
    “The entire world recognizes our borders. Guyana was obstructed while trying to develop its own territory. Our neighbours expelled one of our oil exploration ships, and our economy has been paralyzed. We have suffered tiresome provocations for many years,” said the Guyanese President.
    The Essequibo is a maritime zone where American company Exxon Mobil has discovered important oil reserves. The expectation is that Maduro, who will later take part in the summit of heads of state of Mercosur, will speak of the topic with Dilma.”
    Apparently, after the lunch disaster Maduro said that he was perfectly fine with the rest of South America dipping their spoons into the Essequibo conflict. But is this a case of putting on a brave face in order to save it?
    After all, this is the first time that anyone other than the parties involved and the United Nations got directly involved in the conflict. And it doesn’t seem like this is happening because Venezuela wants it, but because Guyana insisted on it.
    In other words, Venezuela is being dragged into arguing about a bilateral border dispute … with a bunch of countries that have no stake in the matter. Maduro may try to spin this any way he wants, but this is not the outcome that Venezuela wanted.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 08/02/2015 at 6:03 am

    Caracas Chronicles – by Juan Cristobal Nagel: Venezuela – A Great Place For Business [If you are an Accountant]

    Yesterday was not a good day for businesses operating inside Venezuela.

    First, the government decided to expropriate significant parts of Polar, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi. The government claims the factories and distribution centers, located in Caracas’ working-class district of La Yaguara, were built on land they need for public housing. Never mind that the government is broke and no public housing will be built (just across the street, much-ballyhooed public housing projects have languished for years). Never mind that these companies are big-time employers for the area’s inhabitants. The government wants them out.

    Then we learn Procter & Gamble has decided to write off Venezuela – as in, they will no longer keep their Venezuela unit in their books, but as a separate entity. They announced a whopping, massive $2.1 billion charge due to Venezuela’s exchange rate nuttiness. So, basically, they have given up on us. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what that’s going to do to the availability of shampoo, toothpaste, and laundry detergent in the country.

    But it didn’t stop there. Colgate-Palmolive and Goodyear have suggested they, too, will “deconsolidate” Venezuela from their books. Meanwhile, Mattel has announced that they are thinking of saying “buh-bye” to Venezuela altogether (hold on to your old Barbie dolls – there’s a black market for them brewing). Pharmaceutical giant Merck has also decided – you guessed it! – to write off Venezuela, to the tune of a $715 million loss.

    Venezuelan companies are taking a massive hit as well. Yesterday we learned that both Movistar and Digitel, the two largest private cellular providers in the country, claim they are not receiving currency and will have to restrict international calls. And Fresenius Medical Care, leading provider of dialysis equipment, is bailing on Venezuela altogether.

    But don’t fret. It’s not all bad news. Uruguay has announced it will sell the government 235,000 tons of food stuff … And we all know what a positive impact that has. – 31 July 2015

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