Chavez And Medvedev Get Even Cosier, Start Decorating One Another
In the nebulous world of Russian diplomacy a promised outcome is not always a sure one, but late last week Russian President Dmitry Medvedev struck a deal with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that would see both countries sharing in rich oil reserves in the Carabobo region.
The politics of this event turned into a love-fest as first Chavez and Medvedev agreed to a visa contra deal between the two countries and then Medvedev was decorated with The Order of the Liberator, an honour he shares with a few Cuban terrorists; “Europe’s Last Dictator”, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashnko; and the former president of Iran, among others. No word yet on if the terrible rucking noises from the grave of Simon Bolivar, Venezuela’s original Liberator, for whom the order is named, are those of him turning in it.
As eager members of the press and heads of Russian oil companies looked on, Chavez and Medvedev smiled, shook hands, and signed yet more deals, including one of nuclear cooperation. They’re also starting naval exercises together today, and have agreed the sale of Russian civilian planes to Venezuela. As Medvedev is the first Russian head of state to visit the country in 150 years, it was kind of Chavez to make him such a warm welcome, but perhaps the gild will come off the lily if oil prices fail to rise. Chavez has said that he wishes for OPEC to keep oil at between $80-$100 a barrel, as production is rumoured to be cut yet again, but Medvedev, as leader of the world’s largest oil provider outside of OPEC, has remained mum on the issue.
Meanwhile Russia has agreed to attend a meeting of oil-producing countries in Algeria to potentially aid OPEC in crying poor. Other nations included in the cabal of non-OPEC oil powers are Mexico and Norway, but Norway has already bowed out of the debate, claiming they have no idea how to make oil cheaper. Crisis!? We don’t need no stinking crisis!