[star]The American Mind[star]

September 24, 2006

Washington Post on Chavez's Hot Air

Many, including me, paid more attention to what Hugo Chavez said last week (and what book he hawked) at the U.N. than how he's leading Venezuela especially its oil industry. Thankfully the Washington Post editorial board points out Chavez's ineptitude:

Since Mr. Chávez took power seven years ago, Venezuela has mismanaged its oil so disastrously that production may have fallen by almost half, according to the estimates of outsiders, reducing global oil supply by a bit more than 1 percent. Along with natural disasters and Nigerian rebels, Mr. Chávez's ineptitude has contributed to high energy prices.

It takes sustained determination to reduce output by that much, and Mr. Chávez has provided it. He inherited a competent national oil company that produced three times more per worker than its Mexican counterpart. He immediately starved it of investment capital and dispatched ignorant political cronies to oversee it. When this abuse provoked a strike, Mr. Chávez fired the staff en masse, getting rid of two-thirds of the skilled employees and managers.

"Hurricane Chávez" [via Betsy's Page]

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 05:25 PM | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)