Archive for January 11th, 2003

Chavez on negotiations

January 11, 2003

I just heard Chavez say that he will not negotiate, “the country is not negotiable”. I wonder what the OAS, Cesar Gaviria and the rest of the people think about this.

It reminds me of an article I read today in El Universal called “The word that ruins us” by Gerver Torres, where he relates that he was participating in negotiations in Costa Rica and the head of the union said they were pulling out of the negotiation because the President had said something different than what was being negotiated. He tried to tell her that maybe he had said that without knowing what he was talking about. She said: “Maybe that is in your country where the President says things whether they are true or not…here in Costa Rica when a President speaks we understand he is telling the truth”

What a different world, no?

Governor of Illinois commutes all death sentences

January 11, 2003

In what I consider a very gutsy move, the Governor of Illinois George Ryan, whom I know practically nothing about, just commuted the death sentences of 164 men and 3 women in death row. His reason was very simple:

“The facts that I have seen in reviewing each and every one of these cases raised questions not only about the innocence of people on death row, but about the fairness of the death penalty system as a whole,”

I bet he will sleep soundly tonight.

Gente del Petroleo shoots back at the Minister of Energy, Haussman interview

January 11, 2003

The Minister of Energy and Mines said on TV that PDVSA would be reorganized as its costs were the highest in the world among oil companies. This presentation prepared by the people from Gente del Petroleo argues that the argument is incorrect as the US$ 7.5 per barrel of royalties charged by PDVSA was included in the calculation of what is the cost to produce a barrel of Venezuela’s oil. Gente del Petroleo should not be confused with Unapetrol. The former is a Civil Association of PDVSA’s employees to interact with society, the latter is the white-collar union formed at PDVSA after April 2002 tragic events.

Since we are on the PDVSA subject and I want this site to have a complete documentation of what is happening, here is the link to the interview with Harvard Professor Ricardo Haussman in NPR, it is long (almost an hour!), but worth listening to. Haussman was Minister of Planning in the early nineties and was Chief Economist at the Interamerican Development Bank.