Archive for August 14th, 2007

Maletagate: From one Government lie and absurdity to the next

August 14, 2007

We have gone from the absurd to the very absurd now. Not only do absurd things happen, but Government officials make absurd statements with a straight face and just lie and exxagerate. Today was perhaps the pinnacle of this, as the case of the maletagate became more and absurd.

First, there was Deputy Tascon saying that the case was simply a “foreign exchange” illegality and when the reporter suggests there is corruption, he simply ignores it. By the end he says that this is just another attempt to destabilize the country. He even denies the person has anything to do with the state, but then we hear that it was PDVSA that made the reservation for Antonini in Uruguay last year and was part of an official delegation to that country. Thus, Tascon minimizes the case, which continues to blow up in the Government’s face.

Then came Minister of Energy and Oil Ramirez saying that the media was “lynching” Chavez with the case and destabilizing the country, once again saying that this happens all the time. He avoids suggesting the origin of the funds was PDVSA or where the money came from.

But later in the day Ramirez went even more into the realm of the absurd and revolutionary lies when he said that the “operational” emergency declared by the Vice-President of Exploration and Production, had no impact on the country’s oil production. Talk about an insult not to anyone’s intelligence, but to anyone’s common sense in saying that. In fact, international oil drilling rig firms like Baker Hughes say that not even the number of operational oil rigs in Venezuela is true, that while Venezuela claims 120 working rigs in the “operational emergency”, only 89 are actually functioning in the country.

And then Ramirez takes us into Chavez’ fantasy’land of promising imaginary projects and goals, when he says that in Venezuela we will have our own “Halliburton” which will provide oil services to Venezuela and other countries. This from the man who presided the genocide of Venezuela’s oil technological capability when he fired not only 19,000 oil workers, but more importantly, 1,000 Masters and Ph.D.’s in oil and oil related areas that worked at Intevep, Venezuela’s oil research and technology center, the number one center at the time on research in heavy crudes.

Since then, cynical Ramirez has not even started a program to train people to replace those fired, demonstrating his ignorance about the reality of the oil industry. As Luis Vierma said in his testimony in the National Assembly, it takes 15 years to produce a good petroleum engineer, but Ramirez apparently wants to produce them from spontaneus generation or maybe import them from Cuba or Iran, who can not even deal with what they have and thus stage another fake operation to defend our country’s “sovereignty”.

But maybe his projects are like Chavez’ 14 gift refineries to the world, or the project’s with Argentina’s Enarsa that have been kicked around for two years and not one has gotten off the ground. The problem is that while Ramirez and his kind are more concerned with funding political revolutionary projects elsewhere, than with the well being of Venezuelans.

What a lying, cynical clown this man is!

While the Venezuelan Government continues going back to its cover-up mode, the same is not true of Argentina. Today, Argentine authorities ordered the international capture of Antonini. But more importantly, they requested from the Minister of Planning a record of the trips carried out by its former superstar adviser Claudio Uberti, as well as requesting all of the information on the movements of Antonini in and out of Argentina. Meanwhile El Clarin gives us a picture of Antonini in September 2006 accompanying the Governor of Cojedes State to Uruguay in an official visit.

Thus, we can count on the Argentines to dig in and investigate what our own Government is trying to cover up and the more they dig, the more they will sink in the cesspool of corruption, lies and absurdity that they have built over the last few years.