Archive for August 13th, 2005

A patriotic suggestion for the Cerro Negro oil field.

August 13, 2005

Somehow, being against Chavez is interpreted by some as not being
patriotic, not caring about Venezuela’s sovereignty and being pro US.
This is confusing, because, first of all, there is nothing about being
against Chavez that points to that, but, more importantly, it is Chavez
that seems to be acting agaisnt the interests of Venezuela, when he
gives away Venezuelan money and oil to richer countries, when he allows his
personal security to be handled by Cubans and when even the Venezuelan
military goes to Cuba to have Fidel Castro preside over their
graduation ceremony. But I do not see pro-Chavez people questioning any
of that.

All of this comes to mind because Chavez offered yesterday in Brazil to
allow the Brazilians to exploit the Cerro Negro oil field of the
Orinoco tar sands. Now, to those that may not know what that field is,
it is supposed to be the largest oil field in the world, with an
estimated 50 billion barrels of oil in it and only about 200,000
barrels are produced daily.

As a Venezuelan, I have to ask why? Why does Venezuela offer its
largest oil field to another Nation, rather than exploit itself? Does
this make sense? Isn’t it anti-patriotic to happily “give away” in a
non-compettitive process such huge resource? Why not offer it to the
Venezuelans? All of us?

You see, Chavez could place the Cerro Negro oil field in a trust. The
beneficiaries of this trust would be all Venezuelans. The trust would
issue debt to invest in the exploitation of the field. Technical teams
would have to establish how long it will be before the field generates
cash flow. The bond issued would not pay interest for that period of
time. Then, once cash flow is positive interest would be paid and
whatever is left over would be given to all Venezuelans, each and
everyone of them.

Alternatively, 20% of the field could be floated as shares in the world
stock markets. With that money the field would be exploited and its
earnings given to Venezuelans directly.

Or, more simply, PDVSA could issue debt (it has none, which does not
make sense for a company that size!). Use the proceeds to fund the
exploitation of Cerro Negro and make more money so that Venezuelans
could benefit from it.

All of these ideas sem to me more “patriotic”, “nationalistsic” and
“sovereign” than just handing it over to the Brazilians. But I don’t
see the pro-Chavez forces criticizing him for it. Why?

Does anyone understand the rationale behind Chavez’ offer? Does anyone
consider it patriotic? Is is in the best interests of Venezuela and the
Venezuelans? Do we need the Brazilians? I just can’t understand any of

Catasetum Pileatum or Flor de Nacar

August 13, 2005

Before Cattleya Mossiae (popularly called Flor de Mayo) was named
the national flower of Venezuela, Catasetum Pileatum popularly known as
Flor de Nacar had that distintion. Above is a Catasetum Pileatum that
just opened, it does not flower very well in Caracas, it likes hotter
temperatures, but by placing it near the top of the greenhouse I can
get it to bloom three or four flowers. 

Two Brazilian Species

August 13, 2005


Two Brazilian Species: Cattleya Nobilior coerulea (top left) and Cattleya Walkeriana (top right)