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Economy / Venezuela

At It Again

April 2006 | Ratings Update

Relations between President Hugo Chávez and US ambassador William Brownfield, always strained, deteriorated further in recent months. In April, Brownfield made a foray into oil policy when he called on both state and private companies to abide by international law (with the emphasis clearly on the former). Several days later Chávez was threatening to expel Brownfield if he ‘provoked the Venezuelan people’ once more – his crime, to hand out free equipment to junior baseball players in Caracas. We expect political point-scoring and sniping to continue between the two countries for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, neither side will come to blows – oil ensures the two are locked in an uncomfortable economic union.

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