Venezuela: paradoxes of resource nationalism

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Not all news out of Venezuela is shortages and protest.  While the economy grinds to a halt and the government issues a new bill worth 20,000 Bolívares, the government of Venezuela has been busy pursuing foreign investors and subscribing new deals to revive oil production and exploit its vast mineral deposits. The government maintains that it will own 55% of every JV and an equal share of profits and collect tax revenues and sow the riches. Is it possible, under Venezuela's present conditions, to attract investment and obtain favorable terms? What can Venezuela accomplish? and what does it tell us ...

Venezuela’s oil under new management?

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Five days ago, the government of Venezuela designated the members of the board of directors of CAMIMPEG. On June 2, the Ministry of Defense made the announcement via the Gazeta Oficial, where all official government actions are recorded daily. What is CAMIMPEG, you may ask? CAMIMPEG stands for C.A. Militar de Industrias Mineral, Petrolíferas y de Gas and is a new state-military company dedicated to any and all activities related to the extraction and production oil, gas and minerals in Venezuela. CAMIMPEG was created via the same official channel in February of this year. Like all news coming out of Venezuela it has generated speculation and interpretations of ...

Impeachment and energy: do they mix?

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Two of the region's energy giants, Venezuela and Brazil, are mired in political crises that threaten to remove their current presidents from office. The outcomes of these crises have implications for the overall performance of these countries' economies, and for the future of their energy sectors. In this post I seek to answer two questions: What is the likelihood that Nicolás Maduro and Dilma Rousseff will not make it to the end of 2016 as presidents? and What are the implications of a presidential crisis for Venezuela and Brazil's energy sectors? 1. How likely is it that Nicolás Maduro and Dilma Rousseff will make it to ...

Will the price of oil be destiny for Maduro?

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The race to the bottom in the oil market has political implications not only for its leading actor, Saudi Arabia, who by flooding the market is seeking to inflict damage on political enemies and secure the survival of its own regime, but also for supporting cast members, such as Venezuela. Venezuela is clearly not living its best moment. The IMF has predicted an economic contraction of 8% and a doubling of inflation to 720% in 2016. Essentials items such as food and medicine are increasingly scarce and the government has started dipping into its gold reserves to pay off debt. So should Venezuela ...