Mismanagement, corruption and lack of investment by the socialist government has turned a valuable natural resource into a useless bunch of slop.

Venezuela still has the world's largest oil reserves, and no ability to get it out of the ground

By —— Bio and Archives--January 22, 2018

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Venezuela still has the world's largest oil reserves, and no ability to get it out of the ground
And you thought it was hard to get oil out of the American soil when Obama was president. The problem there was that Obama didn’t want the oil pumped. He preferred to starve the U.S. oil industry while America continued to rely on foreign countries to meet our energy needs, because Obama preferred a weak America with no geopolitical leverage or economic power on the global state.

The socialist government in Venezuela not only wants to get at the country’s oil, it desperately needs it. The country’s rich oil reserves are the only thing that gives nation’s ravaged economy even the slightest chance of staying afloat. But the Maduro regime is so inept, corrupt and malevolent, they’ve actually destroyed their own ability to get at the oil. The Wall Street Journal reports on what’s happened in Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela’s Zulia region, where decaying infrastructure and incompetent management has caused a once oil-rich location to become a useless eyesore:


Venezuela still holds the world’s largest reserves of crude oil, according to BPPLC. But a close look at its decaying oil industry shows it will struggle to get those reserves out of the ground anytime soon, deepening the country’s worst economic contraction on record.

Output in the Lake Maracaibo region in Venezuela’s west has halved since 2015 to an estimated 350,000 barrels a day, according to consultancy IPD Latin America. That is a big reason why Venezuela’s daily overall oil output plunged by 649,000 barrels in December from a year ago to 1.6 million barrels a day, according to figures released Thursday.

In the north, the Paraguana refining complex, the world’s third-largest crude processing facility, is operating at 15% of capacity, according to a local oil union leader.

Paraguana was last near full capacity in the 1990s; PdVSA President Manuel Quevedo said this week he would bring operations to 100% of capacity this year, without explaining how he would engineer such a turnaround.

“There’s no maintenance as such here anymore,” said plant operator Pablo Céspedes. “They sucked everything out of PdVSA without investing. There’s nothing to squeeze out anymore.”

It’s both heartbreaking and infuriating to see what’s happening in Venezuela. The socialist revolution of Hugo Chavez was hailed by leftists around the world as a triumph of the common folks over the monied elites, and for much of the time the country has toiled under Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, the world’s leftist intellectuals ignored both the political abuses and economic hardship that was getting worse by the day as the government squashed the capacity of the productive sector, meddled in the pricing of goods to the point the country faced massive shortages, and squandered the oil resources that might have allowed them to paper over the other damage they were doing to the country.

And yet there appears to be no way out of this for Venezuela as long as Maduro continues to flout the country’s constitution and hang onto power. He has long since lost the support of the public, and even some of his own former allies are starting to tell the truth about how bad things have gotten. Yet he has manipulated the nation’s political institutions so blatantly that there appears to be no mechanism short of violent revolution that can pry him loose from power.

Violent revolutions are terrible things. People get hurt. People die. Things are destroyed. And the road back to respectable political institutions is by no means a clear or smooth one. Almost any waay of deposing Maduro and the thugs who remain loyal to him would be preferable.

But I do not think the people Venezuela are going to put up with this much longer. That’s both a hope and a fear. Pray for this country, which made the mistake of electing Chavez in the first place, but still doesn’t deserve what’s happening to it now.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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