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Chavez: Oil, Ketchup & Coffins

March 11, 2013

Who killed Hugo Chavez? Was it hired hitmen working for the banksters, the Koch brothers and oil barons? Was it the CIA working for America's new Secretary of Hate - John Kerry - whose untilled Heinz Ketchup plantation (by marriage) was turned over to the poor by Chavez?

Was Hugo Chavez murdered by a US cancer weapon like nitrosamine which is a strong carcinogen that is colorless, odorless and tasteless?

We know what happens to Latin American leaders like Che Guevara AND to middle eastern leaders like Muammar Ghaddafi who were brave enough to stand up for their own people...so we know Hugo Chavez was assassinated and we know more or less who did it.

Why did the US elite want to kill Chavez? Over the oil and the ketchup.

A really BIG pool of oil and ketchup. Indeed, according to Guy Caruso, former chief of oil intelligence for the CIA, Venezuela holds a recoverable reserve of 1.36 trillion barrels, that is, a whole lot more than Saudi Arabia.

Chavez had been quite chummy with Bush Senior and with Bill Clinton. So what made Chavez suddenly “a dangerous enemy”? Here’s the answer you won’t find in The New York Times:

Just after Bush’s inauguration in 2001, Chavez’ congress voted in a new “Law of Hydrocarbons.” Henceforth, Exxon, British Petroleum, Shell Oil and Chevron would get to keep 70% of the sales revenues from the crude they sucked out of Venezuela. Not bad, considering the price of oil was rising toward $100 a barrel.

But to the oil companies, which had bitch-slapped Venezeula’s prior government into giving them 84% of the sales price, a cut to 70% was “no bueno.” Worse, Venezuela had been charging a joke of a royalty – just one percent – on “heavy” crude from the Orinoco Basin. Chavez told Exxon and friends they’d now have to pay 16.6%.

KIDNAPPED

Clearly, Chavez had to be taught a lesson about the etiquette of dealings with Big Oil.

On April 11, 2002, President Chavez was kidnapped at gunpoint and flown to an island prison in the Caribbean Sea. On April 12, Pedro Carmona, a business partner of the US oil companies and president of the nation’s Chamber of Commerce, declared himself President of Venezuela – giving a whole new meaning to the term, “corporate takeover.”

U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro immediately rushed down from his hilltop embassy to have his picture taken grinning with the self-proclaimed “President” and the leaders of the coup d’état.

Bush’s White House spokesman admitted that Chavez was, “democratically elected,” but, he added, “Legitimacy is something that is conferred not by just the majority of voters.” I see.

VENEZUELA'S ROBIN HOOD

With an armed and angry citizenry marching on the Presidential Palace in Caracas ready to string up the coup plotters, Carmona, the Pretend President from Exxon returned his captive Chavez back to his desk within 48 hours. (How? Get The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, the film, expanding on BBC Television reports.

Chavez had provoked the coup not just by clawing back some of the bloated royalties of the oil companies. It’s what he did with that oil money that drove Venezuela’s One Percent to violence.

Chavez, himself negro e indio, had, for the first time in Venezuela’s history, shifted the oil wealth from the privileged class that called themselves “Spanish,” to the dark-skinned masses.

Under Hugo Chavez, the poor got medical attention, free operations, x-rays, medicines; education. People who never knew how to write now know how to sign their own papers.

Chavez’ Robin Hood thing, shifting oil money from the rich to the poor went too far in the eyes of the American corporate elite.

HEINZ KETCHUP

Venezuela had landless citizens by the millions – and unused land by the millions of acres tied up, untilled, on which a tiny elite of plantation owners squatted. Chavez’ congress passed in a law in 2001 requiring untilled land to be sold to the landless. It was a program long promised by Venezuela’s politicians at the urging of John F. Kennedy as part of his “Alliance for Progress.”

Plantation owner Heinz Corporation didn’t like that one bit. In retaliation, Heinz closed its ketchup plant in the state of Maturin and fired all the workers. Chavez seized Heinz’ plant and put the workers back on the job. Chavez didn’t realize that he’d just squeezed the tomatoes of America’s powerful Heinz family and Mrs. Heinz’ husband, Senator John Kerry, now U.S. Secretary of State.

Chavez could survive the ketchup coup, the Exxon “presidency,” even his taking back a piece of the windfall of oil company profits, but he dangerously tried the patience of America’s least forgiving billionaires: The Koch Brothers.

Elected presidents who annoy Big Oil have ended up in exile—or coffins: Mossadegh of Iran after he nationalized BP’s fields (1953), Elchibey, President of Azerbaijan, after he refused demands of BP for his Caspian fields (1993), President Alfredo Palacio of Ecuador after he terminated Occidental’s drilling concession (2005).

CHECK MATED

“It’s a chess game and I'm a very good chess player”, said Chavez during an interview. Not good enough, evidently...but he played a brilliant endgame, naming Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, as good and decent a man as they come, as heir to the fight for those in the “ranchos.”

The wealthy One Percent of Venezuela, planning on Chavez’s death to return them the power and riches they couldn’t win in an election, are livid with the choice of Maduro. Chavez had carefully prepared for the day when Venezuela’s negros e indios would lose their king—but still stay in the game.

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