Friday, 20 June 2008

Hugo Chávez and the EU immigration law

I have to confess I have only read bits and pieces of the EU law on illegal immigration control and what I have seen I do not like (I will go into that in the next weeks).

Still, what president Hugo Chávez said now about not sending oil to European countries and threatening them with cutting off their investments in Venezuela if they were to implement that law is sheer stupidity.

Firstly: we all know Europe draws very little of its oil from Venezuela, namely around 0.9% of its needs.

Secondly: Venezuela needs those European investments more than the EU needs to invest in Venezuela.

Everybody in Europe knows Chávez threats are just empty. With that Chávez has only managed to deflate any serious discussion about any part of the law. The public opinion in Europe now just focuses in the fact that Chávez threats are pointless.

As we can see in Spiegel, De Morgen and other newspapers, everybody is just talking about the fact that Chávez just threatens without any consequence.

If Chávez really cared about human migrations, he could have started opening up a serious dialog about causes and effects of migrations, about basic human rights, about reciprocity at different levels. Instead, he just used what he knows best: threats everybody knows he cannot carry out.


  1. Doesn't Chavez own some refineries in Europe? Would he cut off oil to his own refineries? I don't think so.

  2. As far as I know they do: part of Ruhr Öl, Nynäs and fully Isla Refiney (Curacao, but I am not sure about what the new status of Curacao really mean: independent but part of the Kingdom of Netherland).
    I do not think they will want to touch those, though. And it would not be leverage enough and Venezuela would suffer much faster than anything.

  3. I think he's just trying to keep the rising trend of oil prices.

  4. Well, he did not succeed. I have thought of two other things: he wants to impress a wee bit the extreme left in Europe or the petrodollar-financed pseudo-lefties in Latin America or
    he fears the forced return of Ecuadoreans and Bolivians (and increasingly Venezuelans, but not that many) to their countries could create more pressure in their respective countries.

    Whatever it is: I do not think he had the well-being of those people in mind. If he had, he would have thought and propose something different and not just uttered a threat that sounded so empty from moment 0.


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