Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Japan Throws Chavez a Socialist Golden Parachute

It's all about oil and natural gas today, folks; Japan throw Venezuela a $33.5 billion bone...

Japan will invest $33.5 billion in Venezuela, mostly in oil, natural-gas and chemical projects, President Hugo Chavez said at the end of a state visit.

Investments from the Asian nation include $10 billion within five years in liquefied natural gas, $8 billion in petrochemicals, $1.5 billion in refining and $4 billion in a joint-project finance fund, Chavez said, according to an e- mailed statement sent by his press office. Chavez didn’t specify where the remaining $10 billion would be invested, according to the statement.

Chavez is on a tour to secure energy investments after declining oil prices forced him to cut government spending in March. He met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week and will travel to China after concluding a two-day visit to Japan today, where he met with Prime Minster Taro Aso.

Venezuela secured $8 billion of investment in its Orinoco oil belt over five years from Japanese companies, Chavez told reporters in Tokyo today. South America’s biggest oil exporter wants to sell more to Japan and China and diversify away from its biggest overseas market, the U.S., he said.

Hugo has better opinion of Barrack...

Chavez, a long-time critic of former U.S. President George W. Bush, praised president Barack Obama’s desire to end global conflicts and said it may be possible to work together with his administration. Chavez, who last month called Obama an “ignoramus,” today said the first African-American U.S. president was “blacker” than former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

- Brewskie

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