American Thinker: Big Oil has always had a reputation for propping up crappy little banana republics and tinpot regimes, and well, Chevron is squarely on the hot seat for that one these days.
See, it’s literally the only thing left that’s keeping Venezuela afloat, through its large investments in that country. If Chevron pulls out, the Maduro regime collapses. Now there’s some question as to whether it ought to be following all the other oil majors and pulling out.
According to today’s Wall Street Journal:
Chevron’s dilemma is both moral and commercial. The California-based giant long enjoyed close relations with the socialist regime that controls the world’s largest oil reserves, and has earned big money in Venezuela—about $2.8 billion between 2004 and 2014, according to cash-flow estimates by analytics firm GlobalData .
The company is aware a pullout could trigger a collapse of the government’s finances, because a significant chunk of its scarce hard currency comes from joint operations with Chevron.
Yet by staying in the country as its economic and humanitarian crises deepen, the company risks damage to its reputation by being seen as supporting an authoritarian regime sanctioned by the U.S. government. It also isn’t making much money here anymore.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, Chevron is pretty much the last investor left in Venezuela, and the only source left for hard currency. The country’s money has melted down so badly in its one-million-plus inflation that it’s down to using a fake cryptocurrency of no credibility whatsoever. But socialists being socialists, they save the best for themselves — U.S. dollars — and Chevron pays and deals in U.S. dollars. If Chevron pulls out, Maduro gets the meathook. See how important this oil giant is to the Chavista regime’s capacity to stay afloat? more here