U.S. Thirst for Iraqi and Venezuelan Oil

#1

A common assumption on the left these days is that sudden U.S. concern for the Venezuelan “humanitarian crisis,” which it actually helped foment via sanctions, is driven by what also was presumed to have driven by U.S. interest in toppling Saddam Hussein – all that deliciously profitable oil.

I’m having trouble finding info on how that’s going in Iraq. Does anyone among the smarter than your average bear BBSers know of any recent reports or summaries on how Iraqi oil production is going now, and more to the point, how much U.S. oil companies control and profit from it?

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#2

I’m sure someone can come up with better but there is:

and

which both seem to indicate that oil production is going great guns and that oil companies from all parts are making lots of money.

On the other hand, their recent auction of development contracts appear not to have gone so well.

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#3

Iraq appears to be giving trump the middle finger* for now:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-20/iraq-says-it-will-continue-sanctions-busting-imports-from-iran

*or rather the bottom of a shoe.

Looks like the only US oil company in Iraq is ExxonMobil. The Chinese and Russians are there as well and you can bet who’s getting the lions share with Iraq’s current anti-trump stance.

The following is a list of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Iraq under licences granted by the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad:

Via Iraq-Business News:

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#4

Thanks, that’s helpful indeed.

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#5

Good analysis of Venezuela scam/fiasco here (with transcript).

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#6

“Good Analysis” my Venezuelan Ass. excuse me most of these are BS opinions based on an external view of our crisis with a heavy bias towards a dead movement (Chavismo). Is a long apologetical boogieman story of victimization with no real interests in the suffering of the people in Venezuela but to defend a despot with a disguise of Leftwing martyr fighting the good fight against imperialism.

You will find a lot of good info in Spanish, there are several Venezuelan independent news sites with lots of investigative reports and opinions from the actual people in the ground with no other interest but to let the crap going down here be known. With no angle to discredit a left-wing or Right-wing political agenda “back home” Or push some narrative against or pro X regime or Government.

Another simple thing is to ask Venezuelans directly There are LOTS on Twitter.

Stay away from Telesur, VTV and RT

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#7

Thanks but I don’t need to do any of that to find out about my original topic of interest, US efforts (yes, clearly self-interested imperial efforts) to topple another foreign government and help put in place one that’s more to the liking of elite/wealthy interests. Same old story, really.

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#8

As I understand it, although Venezuela has huge oil reserves, it’s low-quality, very heavy crude that requires special refinery equipment. And again AIUI, most of the refinery capacity for handling Venezuelan oil exists in Venezuela, where it’s rusting through thanks to general Chavista mismanagement of everything, or in the US.

Overall, while there’s enormous amounts of oil in Venezuela, it’s a much less appealing business prospect than you’d think going by just the amount of barrels in the reserves.

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#9

FYI

trump just got the middle finger from China.

Interesting footnote:

“China is also wary of criticism from Muslim countries about its camps in the heavily Muslim far western region of Xinjiang, which the government says are for de-radicalisation purposes and rights groups call internment camps.”

“Xi told the crown prince the two countries must strengthen international cooperation on de-radicalisation to “prevent the infiltration and spread of extremist thinking”, Chinese state television said.”

Internment Camps? What camps? Nothing to see here…

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#10

Yeah. As someone on the Intercepted podcast that i linked to points out, given what Bolton especially has been squawking about, US intervention there is also or even more about busting up left-leaning regional alliances among countries there. That’s bad for US business/neocolonialism (happened in Haiti and Honduras too, when their populaces spushed for self-determination – nice work, Hill and Bill!). Same thing Gaddafi was killed for, if i remember right.

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#11

Blood Oil now:

#12

Of course, “humanitarian aid” and probably “volunteers” have quotation marks around them. Mainstream US media has been pathetic about all of this. I see that some of those outlets have been referring to Guaido as “interim president”! My god. . .

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#13

“The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies”
John Pilger

Should the CIA stooge Guaido and his white supremacists grab power, it will be the 68th overthrow of a sovereign government by the United States, most of them democracies. A fire sale of Venezuela’s utilities and mineral wealth will surely follow, along with the theft of the country’s oil, as outlined by John Bolton.

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#14

Can’t speak for Haiti or Honduras, but the idea that Gaddafi was killed for being somehow leftists is arrant nonsense.

As for Guaido, I have no idea if he’s good or bad or what, but I do know that Maduro’s government is all-around terrible, and think that if the US could be trusted to get rid of him neatly and without collateral bloodshed, and without fucking up the aftermath, I’d welcome them taking him out any day. Of course, that’s a huge “if” that turns the whole thing into counterfactual.

But yeah, I have absolutely no sympathy for Maduro and his band of incompetent, corrupt, brutal idiots. The Chavistas have achieved nothing but managed to ruin Venezuela’s economy and infrastructure, and I’m seriously suspicious of anyone defending them.

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#15

No need to reduce what I wrote to “somehow leftist.” That said, others see him as, although a dictatorial strongman in some ways, a uniter in others – and in ways that Western powers objected to, because they interfered with Western (elite) interests:

Born of the tribes and the outcasts, a wretched child destined for menial tasks and a lifetime of poverty, Gaddafi – thanks, in large part, to his humble roots – immediately won the adoration of the disadvantaged on the fringes of society and rallied the aggrieved and the rejected to his cause. But his greatest feat, after the coup d’etat, was absolutely remarkable: he succeeded in bringing together the intensely opposed ethnic groups of the north and south, who had always despised one another. To the casual western observer this might seem a basic achievement and of little import, but for an inveterate tribalist it is little short of a miracle.

Source:

Regarding his efforts toward unity more broadly, and thus resistance to western/neoimperialist intervention and control, one analyst notes:

Beyond direct contributions to the African Union, Gadaffi used his country’s vast resources – primarily cash and oil – to win friends across Africa. Libya invested in infrastructure and agricultural projects, the construction of mosques and hospitals and companies continent-wide. While the exact figure of Gadaffi’s Africa investments are not yet known, some estimate the number at $150 billion. . . . Gaddafi spent lavishly on bolstering regional governments in Liberia, Niger, Mali and Chad. . . . “Muammar Gadaffi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist,” wrote Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Foreign Policy Magazine last February. “I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests.”

Source:

http://blogs.shu.edu/diplomacy/2011/12/the-african-union-after-gaddafi/

As for the rest of your comment, your lack of attention to the deleterious effects of a long American campaign of surreptitiously (and now openly) undermining Venezuelan self-determination is . . . interesting, at best.

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#16

Oh, Wow… ok So it was an effort to comfort an existing confirmation bias, well that Ok I guess.

For any other decent person out there, There is no “topple” or a Coup for replacing a Government here. There is a Lawful effort to restore the constitutional order in our country by our own Legally elected legislative body, against a despotic and totalitarian executive. Yes, +60 other countries are helping with sanctions, humanitarian help, diplomatic efforts and any way possible, but that does not make it an exclusive US effort or a Trump campaign. There are Years of effort by Our expats’ congressman, politicians, activists, and other personalities, building the case and breaking the propaganda wall the regime has been so eager to throw at your face (English speaking people) And delivering hard evidence of the regime numerous crimes, economic and financial wrongdoings.

The Opposition coalition In the National Assembly is made by a large majority of Social Democrats and Leftwing parties, there is a small group (6 or 8) of libertarian folks (these are the most right-wing by US standards) Juan Guaidó is a 35 years old engineer that used to live with his mom in La Guaira while studying in a Catholic university in Caracas (~35Km away) and work in a department store as a clerk to cover his expenses. Later He got a scholarship and was took under the wing of a prominent politician (Leopoldo Lopez The Jailed Founder of Voluntad Popular a Social Democrat Party member of the International Socialist) later in his career and a few years later got elected in our National Assembly defeating a wealthy Chavista in his State. So the “Elite/Wealthy” BS you are looking to confirm is not factual. There are Wealthy people in the opposition but there is a HUGE realization in our politicians there MUST BE strong popular support to gain ANY political footing and they now got it, wherever some dudes abroad were so eager to claim the opposite to confirm their echo chambers delusions.

I’m sure The US Government is not acting by the goodness of their heart, in fact, the declarations in Trump’s rallies and SOTU address are most revealing, the angle is to fight Socialism abroad not for moral or factual reasons but for political electoral gain, exploiting the turn to the left by the Democrats. Is a not so strange strategy to Us here; the “other” the “enemy” Chavismo exploited that resource to the extreme, the fear of the other was a theme all over Chavez discourse, the worst thing of it is that It Works. The thing is that THE US is actually helping a Bunch of Socialist and Liberals get Power and reestablish a truly lefty constitution that grants Healthcare, Housing, Food and Education as a Right. A thing that Venezuela has always had and always will have.

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#17

Thank you for taking the time to explain your perspective.

Could you please explain or expand on two things you said?

Who was the “other” in this discourse? My understanding is that Chavez worked – unlike other elite, white-favoring politicians – to unite, and to work for the benefit of, members of the population who have higher amounts of indigenous and African blood. In other words, the “other” in Venezuelan politics has long been the country’s neglected, impoverished majority, and both Chavez and Maduro have offered them hope for better living conditions (efforts that have been continually undercut by elites, both domestic and abroad). Your continual dismissal of such interpretations as mere leftist propaganda doesn’t counteract for me the great deal of reading and listening that I’ve done that argues to the contrary, argues that it is indeed much closer to fact. And that it’s a common story that has occurred in many other countries, where leaders were also undercut by U.S. and/or western opposition to national self-determination and solidarity with similar efforts in other countries.

You also wrote:

Are you saying this is what the U.S. is doing by trying to replace the current democratically elected leader of Venezuela with a clearly right-leaning, U.S.-elite friendly one? That doesn’t make sense to me, because as in so many other countries, and for so many decades now, the U.S. has been undercutting “a Bunch of Socialists” in Venezuela because their policies threaten U.S. profits and U.S. state-led control of the region, not helping that Bunch “get Power.”

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#18

Nope. The last election is regarded as illegitimate by most independent election monitoring sources, and the vast majority of nations in the world, those that recognised it as valid either depend on Venezuela for oil, or are shitty undemocratic regimes themselves and are just doing it for their own shitty geopolitical reasons.

The only legitimately democratically elected leader in the country is Guaidó.

Chavez never worked for the benefit of anyone aside from his cronies and family (who are now millionaires), if you honestly believe otherwise than yes, you have fallen for leftist propaganda.

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#19

Honduras literally had it’s far-right partisans in the lower and supreme court declare the president’s action unconstitutional, soldiers removed the president with the courts approval and the congress voted for his forced resignation for the final three months of his presidency. The US didn’t facilitate the regime change in Honduras, the regime change happened by far-right parties taking power and convincing enough people to back them.

So the question becomes what should the US have done? The alternative to democracy failing in Honduras is for the US to instead support a war that brought the OAS against the Honduran military which the US would no doubt have troops on the ground for. Which of those options is the one that isn’t “the US supporting a regime change?”

#20

I’m no fan of Maduro but to call Guaidó the legitimately elected leader is a farce. His party boycotted the elections, and he certainly didn’t stand for president.

Something something propaganda something something

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