Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Venezuela Unhappy With US Desire For Cheap Oil

Nicolás Maduro says that the U.S. is applying pressure to avoid a deal by oil producers to "stabilize prices," by which he means to "make oil prices go up really high again by consolidating a monopoly."

"These are almost war-like pressure on governments, on heads of state," he said, adding that U.S. policy makers have a "fatal obsession" with Russia, OPEC and Venezuela's leftist government.

Actually, no, this has nothing to do with obsession about Venezuela or Russia. If anything, the U.S. would be happy if Venezuela did not completely collapse. However, the Obama administration is obsessed with spurring domestic economic growth through low oil prices. And in an election year, it works much better for the Democratic Party if oil prices do not go up right before a hugely important presidential election. Plus, from a foreign policy perspective the Obama administration is quite happy if low oil prices damage leaders like Putin, Maduro, Correa, etc.

All this boils down to, then, is national self-interest. Except for certain sectors in the United States, like oil boom towns and the workers who flocked to them, low oil prices are 100% positive for the Obama administration. So we should be surprised if it did nothing to maintain that situation.


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