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Could the Saudi strategy be working?

Take it away, OilPrice.com … “Slumping oil prices are putting pressure on U.S. drillers. The number of active rigs drilling for oil and gas fell by their most in two months, according to the latest data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. There were 19 oil rigs that were removed from operation as of Oct.…

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The pain from the China loans

One of the more interesting angles of the China financing story is the way it is hampering Venezuela’s ability to weather the current slump in the oil prices. Here is the lowdown on the renegotiation with China: “The MOFCOM article goes on to explain that the declining oil price requires Venezuela to export more oil, but that…

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Fifty Shades of Default

Until a few weeks ago, I thought default was like pregnancy: you either are or you aren’t. Instead, 2014 is turning into an education on the grey area between default and defaaaaault. Take China. Under previous, hard-haggled-over financing agreements, Venezuela was supposed to send 330,000 b/d per day for the next three years to China as…

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$12,000,000,000 in the Hole (and Digging)

Bank of America today estimates that, if oil prices stabilize at the level they’ve already fallen to, Venezuela will have to find an extra $12 billion in foreign financing to balance its external accounts in the next year. That’s on top of the already massive import cuts that have already sent the economy into recession this year…

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How is the disarmament plan doing so far?

It has been almost a month since the voluntary disarmament plan I wrote about last week was first announced by Nicolas Maduro, and finally we have an official number from Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres. 800 guns collected. That’s it. To say unimpressive would be an understatement. But the government isn’t worried and will do a special…

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Hausmann vs. F-Rod through Aporrea’s Eyes

Chavismo has always had two big weapons: a gigantic wad of cash and an incredible compelling narrative. The importance of the latter is easy to overlook. So powerful is it that after 2 years of recession and the highest inflation in the world, chavismo still holds a relatively strong 30% popularity. The narrative is quite simple.…