Hugo Chávez must be distraught. There’s nothing he loves more than to launch into spirited tirades against the “empire” (a.k.a. the USA), and now he has the perfect excuse: it slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA for selling fuel to Iran. Read more

Socialist Venezuela has some way to go before becoming the workers’ paradise it would like to be.
Workers at state oil company PDVSA, one of the flagships of Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution, are expressing “alarm” over the fact that they may be facing lean times in their twilight years after hundreds of millions of dollars went “missing” from their pension fund, because of fraud and even Ponzi activity. Read more

Kiran Stacey

I won’t write much about BP’s deal to sell $1.8bn worth of assets in Venezuela to TNK-BP, as that has been dealt with in some detail by Stefan Wagstyl on our Beyond Brics blog. But it is worth picking up a point that cropped up in both Stefan’s post and today’s Lex note on the issue. Read more