11-28-07 by dugan
Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s campaign to win Latin American hearts and minds has developed a new twist that should set hearts aflutter (not in a good way) at Chevron’s investor relations department. BBC reporter Greg Palast‘s investigative documentary on Ecuadoran peasants’ multibillion-dollar pollution lawsuit against Chevron aired tonight. Palast notes in a blog follow-up that Chavez is courting Ecuador’s new leftish leader, Alberto Acosta.
Palast adds up the consequences:
"[T]his week, the political planet tilts toward the natives as Alberto
Acosta takes office as President of Ecuador’s new Constitutional
Assembly. Acosta … gives Chevron a
tongue-lashing: ‘Chevron is responsible for environmental and social
destruction in the Amazon. And that’s why they’re on trial.’
"Little Ecuador does not seem like much of a match against big Chevron –
whose revenue exceeds the entire GDP of the Andean nation. However,
behind Little Ecuador is Huge Venezuela – and its larger-than-life
leader, Hugo Chavez. "Acosta," complains one local pundit to the BBC,
"loves – LOVES – Chavez."
"And apparently, the feeling is
mutual. That is, Chavez sees in Ecuador’s new government, which won
election campaigning to the tune of the Twisted Sister hit, We’re Not
Gonna Take it Anymore, a new ally in his fight with George Bush over
control of Latin hearts and minds – and energy.
largest new oil reserves are in Venezuela; Venezuela stands with
Ecuador; and Ecuador now stands with its ‘affectados,’ the Indians and
farmers claiming the poisons in their bodies trace right back to the
Texaco star. "