President Bush may not be willing to utter Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez’s name during his trip to Latin America, even while Chavez led flag-waving supporters with Bush insults and chants of "Gringo, Go Home." But America’s biggest oil companies have waved the white flag in Venezuela.
Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips have all agreed to cede control of crude producing projects in Orinoco reserve to Venezuela’s national oil company by a May 1 deadline. The projects that produce a light synthetic crude from tar-like oil are valued at $30 billion.
Bush may be unwilling to acknowledge Chavez, but the white flag flown on May Day by the largest oil companies in America show that economic policies are a lot more important than foreign policy in a world driven by fossil fuel.