Source: Hindustan Times
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez scored a comfortable election victory that could extend his rule to 20 years and vowed to deepen his self-styled socialist revolution that has polarised the South American Opec nation.
The new six-year term will let Chavez consolidate his control over Venezuela’s economy by extending a wave of nationalisations and continue his support for left-wing allies in Latin America and around the world.
According to studies, Venezuela has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become number one in the world for proven oil reserves, largely thanks to the heavy crude found in this vast alluvial plain.
According to a report this year by BP, Venezuela has reserves of 296.5 billion barrels, about 10% more than Saudi Arabia and 18% of the global total. At the country’s current levels of production, this would last about 100 years.
While campaigning, Chavez had promised to ramp up production and reduce his country’s dependence on the US market by doubling crude exports to Asia.
To further this goal, Venezuela plans to build a pipeline through Colombia to the Pacific which would reduce costs and transport times to China and other Asian markets.