Saturday, December 1, 2007

Venezuelan President Chavez threatens oil embargo for Monday

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to impose an embargo on oil shipments to the United States Monday Dec. 3 if he wins a complicated constitutional referendum (including abolishing term limits) Sunday Dec. 2 and the United States challenges it. The United States gets about 15% of its imports from Venezuela. Chavez has a long history of far-left socialism and imposing collectivist values. I wonder what Michael Moore would think of his health care system.

The CNN story is here.

The Arabs imposed an embargo on the United States in the fall of 1973 after Israel's quick Yom Kippur war, resulting in gas lines and odd-even rationing and Sunday gas station closings. The same thing happened in 1979 after disturbances in Iran.

Presumably this could push the price of oil well over $100 a barrel if it happened.

Update: Dec 4

Well, oil prices may be sliding in OPEC boosts production (you can never tell anymore from day to day); and Chavez's referendum lost big. President Bush discussed this at his news conference this morning, with some neo-conservative pleasure. Here is the CNN story "Jubilant Chavez opponents revel in referendum defeat", here.

Update: Feb. 10, 2008

Sandra Sierra, AP Staff Writer, has a story tonight "Venezuelan President Threatens to Cut Off Oil Sales to US, Calls Exxon Mobil 'Outlaws'", regarding a radio broadcast today by Hugo Chavez. He called Exxon Mobil "outlaws," as apparently Exxon Mobil has challenged state nationalization agreements in US, British and Dutch courts. ExxonMobil's website has no comment yet on the effect of the litigation and threats, if any.

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