Friday, December 14, 2007

When will they put their money where their mouths are? 

Recently a minor scandal has erupted in Venezuela over the extravagant tastes of some ministers in the "socialist" government. So bad is it that even some revolutionary bloggers can't help blushing.

Yet wearing thousands of dollars of expensive clothes could be the least of their transgressions.

Recall that not too long ago the Venezuelan government announced that it was going to start building up its chemical industry? Well, they've started. And that is good, Venezuela certainly needs productive industry. So that is to be applauded.

Unfortunately, their choice of who they are using to help build it is bizarre, to put it mildly, as today we learn that they are contracting with the KBR corporation.

KBR - remember them? No? How 'bout if I use their full name - Kellog, Brown and Root? Remember them now?

That is right, KBR is the old Halliburton subsidiary of Dick Cheney fame. They are also the same company contracted with the U.S. military to rebuild Iraq - hey, maybe it is the great job they did in building up Iraq's infrastructure that made Venezuela sign them up!!!

Seriously, even though this may sound like a sick joke, but its not. They just got a $57 million dollar contract to work on a Venezuelan ammonia plant.

So with no apparent sense of irony the "revolutionary" government of Venezuela hired a company that used to be run by Dick Cheney, got its start building bases around the world for the U.S. military , is currently the largest non-union construction company in the U.S. and has robbed both the U.S. taxpayers and Iraqi government blind with all their fraudulent work in Iraq.

It is certainly more than a little ironic that Chavez, for all his anti-Bush rhetoric, contracts with the same corrupt and incompetent companies that Bush has been using in Iraq.

I can remember when the Chavez government used to complain about previous Venezuelan governments giving key contracts to U.S. companies tied to the U.S. military/industrial complex. Apparently they've had a change of heart.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if they had another change of heart, and start putting their money where their mouths are?


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