Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quote of the day: China and Venezuela

"Venezuela's leader has declared himself a Maoist, but that scarcely matters to the Chinese. They just want the oil."

--from The Guardian


Anonymous,  10:38 AM  

Sad how China, while still authoritarian, has already grown past its 'crazy left' phase yet Venezuela seems hell bent on following that dead-end path.

leftside 1:45 AM  

Then why hasn't China offered this kind and scale of (pretty sweet) deal to any other oil rich nations? Ideology is still important...

Comparing the Chinese Revolution with the "Bolivarian" one in Venezuela only shows you how modest Chavez has actually been, despite his boogey-monster status in the West.

Anonymous,  5:11 PM  

Is it true that Chavez has "declared himself a Maoist?"

Greg Weeks 5:49 PM  

Yes, he has, though what he means by it is anyone's guess.

Anonymous,  8:43 PM  

Could you please show me the text, so that I can try to interpret what he means? Or give me a clue about when or in what context he stated this, so I can track it down myself? (My initial attempt to find it was unsuccessful.)

boz 9:02 PM  

I pretty sure he said it during one of his trips to China.

Anonymous,  1:06 PM  

Thanks. In case anyone is interested.

Tim Johnson/McClatchy reported in 2008:

Within minutes of touching down in Beijing, Chavez declared himself an "anti-imperialist" and made constant allusions to his battles with the Bush administration, saying China's rise "has shown the world that one doesn't have to attack anyone to become a great power."

A self-styled revolutionary, Chavez hailed Mao Zedong, the communist founder of modern China, whom many Chinese view as irrelevant nowadays as they chase wealth.

"We are offering tribute in the land of Mao," the former army paratrooper said. "I am a Maoist."

and LA Times 1999:
"I have always been very Maoist," Chavez told the Associated Press during the journey from Caracas to Shanghai, "in the sense that the people to the army is like water to fish."

Boli-Nica 2:54 PM  

I don't know about any "sweet deal", China is financing exploration and exploitation in one of the largest oil reserves in the world. In return it gets long term guarantees of payment whether in the form of crude or other products, directly from the Venezuelan government. This means they are locked in for a long time, and China has little to lose, and a big gain.

Russell Bither-Terry 6:54 PM  

I had always had the sense that MRV was a primarily urban movement, though.

Boli-Nica 12:04 PM  

Sad how China, while still authoritarian, has already grown past its 'crazy left' phase yet Venezuela seems hell bent on following that dead-end path.

Chavez has deliberately gone about doing things premised on obsolote and clearly failed ideolog it is amazing that some still think he is a "alternative to neo-liberalism".

Take the state oil company, Chavez has , brought it back under strict government control, and thoroughly politicized it, filled it with an army of rent-seekers and political hacks, and de-professionalized it.
The Chinese on the other hand, split up their state monopoly oil company, let the entities remaining compete with each other, substituted performance-based criteria for managers and gave them autonomy, allowed its subsidiaries to issue stock, to bring in private investment.

Result - Venezuela's oil company is a disaster that produces a million less barrels of oil a day than it did 12 years ago. China's oil companies are in a position to finance oil complexes in Venezuela to extract Venezuelan crude.

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