Hugo Chavez --- sly or stupid?


President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has his panties in a bunch about US "aggression" — such as complaining about his refusal to help fight the drug trade. In retaliation, he told a youth festival, Venezuelan oil might not be sold to the US.

"Instead of going to the United States, (it) could go elsewhere." 

This is odd. Oil is a fungible commodity. Selling Venezuelan oil to China instead of the United States would only result in slight changes in price and supply. In fact, if the price was right, Chinese tankers might just ferry the stuff straight to the US.   SOMEBODY in El Presidente's circle must know that. But maybe Chavez has been relying on Fidel Castro for economic advice.

So either Senor Chavez is not very bright in matters of oil and economics
— which is not a good thing for Venezuela — or he was merely demagoguing his youthful audience. If young people in Venezeula are ready to fall for such a flagrant lie, they have not been educated about their country's most vital export. Best of all would be if his audience saw through those gormless remarks and responded with hisses and boos.

Unfortunately the BBC report does not tell us how the audience reacted, possibly because nobody at the BBC understands free markets either.