Executive Intelligence Review


Regime-Change Thugs in Venezuela Demand Privatizing Oil Industry, Neo-Liberal Economics

March 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—At the annual CERAWeek energy producers conference in Houston yesterday, keynoted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, representatives of Venezuela’s fake “interim President” Juan Guaidó announced that they intend to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry—once Nicolas Maduro is dispensed with. This is not to say that taking Venezuela’s oil is the main purpose of the regime-change operation. As EIR has emphasized, this is a top-down, British Empire-run offensive to destroy any chance of East-West collaboration in the region in the context of a Westphalian system.

Discussed in Houston was the need to reduce the role of the state-run oil firm, PDVSA, and “roll out the welcome mat”—as Bloomberg put it—to private investors and oil firms “who want a piece of the world’s largest oil reserves.” Guaidó’s representatives explained that in their plan, PDVSA will continue to play a role, but only in the framework of a new regulatory mechanism which will give greater participation to private sector companies. Currently foreign oil firms can only operate in Venezuela as minority partners of PDVSA.

Ricardo Hausmann, the Venezuelan economist whom Guaidó has named as his representative to the Inter-American Development Bank, made clear in his remarks in Houston that privatization will be the norm. “We need to open up the oil industry to private investment without the participation of the national oil company,” he said. Note that the preamble to the draft document creating the new energy regulator, to be called the National Hydrocarbon Agency, points to the “socialism” bogeyman, which Mike Pompeo loves to rant about, as the reason why Venezuela’s oil industry as collapsed. Let the “markets” reign!

Hausmann’s role is noteworthy. Currently head of the Center for International Development at Harvard, he is the author of the economic program drafted for Guaidó, which argues for neo-liberal reforms, austerity, massive borrowing from the International Monetary Fund, and privatization of state-sector companies.