Jorge Giordani is the grey eminence behind the fraud
Mr. Jesus Faria, a pro-government member of the Venezuelan National Assembly, justified the recent approval by the Assembly of the Venezuelan budget for 2013 using an estimated income based in a price of $55 for the barrel of exported oil. He said this low estimate was necessary “given the existing world economic crisis, the worst of the late 100 years”. His statement comes at a time in which the U.S. stock market is at an all-time high and when the worst of the crisis seems to have been left behind. At the very least, the oil prices have not shown any strong signs of declining. Mr. Faria said that such a conservative assumption was “the only way we can plan in a world caught in a terrible crisis”. And he added: “Any additional income derived from the difference between our estimate and the real, higher prices, would be used in the diverse activities of the Venezuelan state”.
This last statement explains the true reasons for the low estimate. Year after year the Venezuelan national budget is based on a clearly unrealistically low estimate of the price of oil. This represents a maneuver to rob Venezuelan states from a share of the true oil income, since the Venezuelan laws stipulates that a certain percentage of the oil income should be distributed to state and municipal governments. As the estimated income is artificially made lower than in reality the money that should be going to the states and municipalities is kept by the executive power, to be distributed at will. This means that pro-opposition governors and mayors will not get the amount of money to which they are entitled by law. The surplus money is centralized in parallel government funds such as FONDEN, Fondo de Desarrollo Economico, managed without transparency or accountability by the President, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, the Minister of Planning and the Minister of Finance.
This maneuver is clearly fraudulent but it has never been effectively challenged by the Venezuelan opposition. In their discharge we have to say that there is no Venezuelan government institution that would hear their claims with impartiality. The only road open to the opposition would seem to be taking to the streets with massive protests.
But Venezuelan society mimics the seasons. There is no spring, only torrential rains, or extreme drought. Boom or bust cycles. The drought is now getting much longer.
Follow us and post your comments: in Twitter Facebook
Gustavo Coronel is a 28 years oil industry veteran, a member of the first board of directors (1975-1979) of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), author of several books. At the present Coronel is Petroleumworld associate editor and advisor on the opinion and editorial content of the site. All his articles can be read in Gustavo's blog. Las Armas de Coronel . Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
Editor's Note: All comments posted and published on Petroleumworld, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of Petroleumworld. All comments expressed are private comments and do not necessary reflect the view of this website. All comments are posted and published without liability to Petroleumworld.
Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
All works published by Petroleumworld are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.Petroleumworld has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Petroleumworld endorsed or sponsored by the originator.
Petroleumworld encourages persons to reproduce, reprint, or broadcast Petroleumworld articles provided that any such reproduction identify the original source, http://www.petroleumworld.com or else and it is done within the fair use as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated
Petroleumworld News 07/25/2013
Follow us in Twitter
And post your comments in our Facebook site
Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback
and comments, share your thoughts on this article,
your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and
comments about this article, write to email@example.com
Copyright© 1999-2010 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.
We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source. Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors
Send this story to a friend Any question or suggestions,
please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Viewed with IE 5.01+Windows NT 4.0, '95, '98, ME,
XP, Vista, W7 +/ 800x600 pixels