Venezuelan Daily Brief

Published in association with The DVA Group and The Selinger Group, the Venezuelan Daily Brief provides bi-weekly summaries of key news items affecting bulk commodities and the general business environment in Venezuela.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 02nd, 2012

Economics & Finance

End of election campaign spurs bond trading
Venezuelan bond sales have been fueled by rising expectations that Capriles is gaining on incumbent President Chavez, and thus have raised bond prices. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 10-02-2012;

Rise in Venezuelan gov't expenditure hits public finances
Official data shows that the Venezuelan oil basket is averaging U$D 105 per barrel. However, the country's international reserves and deposits in US dollars are dropping, public debt is increasing sharply, state-run oil company PDVSA is demanding additional financial aid from the Central Bank (BCV), and the Foreign Exchange Administration Commission (CADIVI) finds itself unable to provide enough US dollars to citizens and companies. (El Universal, 09-29-2012;


Venezuelan oil basket down to U$D 100.58 per barrel
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining says the price of Venezuela's oil basket has dropped since last week (U$D 102.76), by 2.12% (U$D 2.18) and closed at U$D 100.58 per barrel. (El Universal, 09-28-2012;

Early extraction in the Orinoco Oil Belt begins
PETROMIRANDA and PETROMACAREO, the former a joint venture with a Russian consortium and the latter with Vietnam, produced the first samples of extra-heavy crude oil in each project. PDVSA’s plan is to increase production of the Oil Belt by 1.2 million barrels per day to 2 million bpd by 2014. (Veneconomy, 10-01-2012;

International Trade

Hugo Chávez rival pledges seismic shift in foreign policy
The challenger to Hugo Chávez in the Venezuelan presidential election has vowed a dramatic change in foreign policy if he is elected next Sunday, shifting his country away from China and Russia and reviewing crucial oil deals. Henrique Capriles, who has gained ground in recent polls, said he would halt arms purchases from Russia, rethink relations with Iran and revise deals to exploit one of the world's biggest recoverable oil resources in the Orinoco belt. In an interview during a campaign stop, Capriles said he would end the Chávez policy of promoting worldwide revolution and focus on Venezuela's needs. Polls suggest the race may be tight. Some say Capriles may be leading by two points. If the results are close many fear a period of instability. Capriles has said he will win by a wide margin and a transition will be peaceful. " (The Guardian, 09-30-2012;

China’s Development Bank has lent Venezuela U$S 42.5 billion since 2007 with the collateral guarantee of revenues from the world’s greatest oil reserves, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from agreements announcements by President Chávez’ government. This month, Chávez said he was seeking a third line of credit for 2013. (Veneconomy, 09-28-2012;

China builds, launches second satellite for Venezuela government
China has launched a second satellite built for Venezuela's government. The remote sensing satellite soared into orbit atop a rocket from the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu. The launch was shown live on Venezuelan TV on Friday night. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez applauded as he watched alongside aides in Caracas, congratulating those who worked on the project. (Fox News, 09-29-2012;


Hugo Chavez pledges to deepen socialist policies if re-elected in Venezuela vote
President Hugo Chavez pledged to redouble his efforts to create a socialist system if re-elected in Sunday’s election, saying the next six-year term would bring bigger changes.  “We’ve laid the foundations of 21st century socialism and today we launch, well, the second cycle,” Chavez said. “We’ll launch the second socialist cycle, from 2013 to 2019, with much more strength.” He is also again saying he believes he has overcome his cancer. (The Washington Post, 10-01-2012; and more in Spanish: El Universal;

Opposition rallies in massive show of force for Capriles 
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, 40, closed his whirlwind presidential campaign with a massive rally Sunday that clogged the streets of the capital and left his supporters hoping they might end the 14-year administration of President Hugo Chávez. Capriles has seen his popularity swell as he’s tried to convince people that they have nothing to fear from change. In some cases, he’s vowed to push Chávez’s signature socialist reforms even further. “I haven’t seen a campaign like this since perhaps 1963,” said Alfredo Weil, a former member of the national election council, who now runs the election watchdog group Esdata. “The energy he has put in to it is just staggering.” Capriles has asked voters to judge Chavez’s priorities after 13 years in power and decide if they were happy with their lives today. (Miami Herald, 09-30-2012;; Univision,; Bloomberg,; Veneconomy,

Two Venezuelan opposition activists shot dead, OAS Secretary General deplores killings
Gunmen shot and killed two local leaders of parties backing presidential challenger Henrique Capriles on Saturday in the worst violence of a volatile campaign before Venezuela's election next weekend. Capriles' party, Primero Justicia (First Justice), said the gunmen fired from a van that witnesses identified as belonging to state oil company PDVSA or the local mayor's office during a rally in the agricultural state of Barinas. The government of President Hugo Chavez, who is seeking re-election, confirmed the deaths and vowed the perpetrators would be brought to justice. Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami said the circumstances of the attack were still under investigation. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza deplored the killings and hopes that "democracy will be strengthened" in these elections. (Chicago Tribune, 10-02-2012;,0,6079891.story; and more in Spanish: Tal Cual;; El Universal,

Election Fuss: Polling Gaps
Venezuelan polling firms are painting starkly different pictures of the coming presidential election: One group shows President Hugo Chávez comfortably ahead, while another shows a tight race. The divide confuses voters and investors alike ahead of the Oct. 7 poll, in which the nearly 14-year incumbent hopes to win a new six-year term. Mr. Chávez faces Gov. Henrique Capriles, who has gained ground in recent months by promising to keep many of the president's popular social programs, but open the economy to more private investment and crack down on corruption and crime. (The Wall Street Journal,

Capriles has identified his future Vice President, Defense Minister
Henrique Capriles told foreign media he has already identified his future Executive Vice President, as well as the man who will be his Minister of Defense - an officer currently active within the national Armed Forces. According to Rocío San Miguel, who leads Citizen Control, the announcement is a "powerful message that tells us the Armed Forces are not "chavista" because there are officers willing to take the position in his future administration". More in Spanish: (Tal Cual, 10-02-2012;

Capriles vows to help Colombia, cool ties with Iran
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles pledged to help Colombia in its peace talks with rebels and distance himself from Iran should he defeat President Hugo Chavez in an increasingly tight race ahead of Sunday's election. In a press conference he also said he would visit Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff once elected; and that the United States should review its relations with nations in the region: "I do not believe the manner in which relations with the South has been correct; I have said Venezuela will have a respecful and equal relation, with the United States, as with all countries". (Reuters, 10-01-2012; and more in Spanish: Tal Cual;

Chavez says he would vote for Obama if American
President Hugo Chavez has weighed in on the U.S. presidential race, saying he prefers President Barack Obama. Chavez also said in a televised interview that aired Sunday that he'd like to have "normal" relations with the U.S. government. The Venezuelan leader says, in his words, "If I were American, I'd vote for Obama." (Fox News, 10-01-2012;

He’s known as the James Carville of Latin America. But can he help Hugo Chávez?
Ostensibly, this Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela is a battle between two native sons: the incumbent, Hugo Chávez, and his challenger, Henrique Capriles Radonski. Behind the scenes, however, an equally ferocious clash is taking place between Brazilian campaign strategists, imported to capture the hearts and minds of Venezuela’s 19 million voters. And in this contest, the spin maestro to beat is João Santana—Chávez’s friendly flack, a low-profile, understated intellectual who is quietly rewriting the book on how to ace elections in Latin America. Santana is to the resurgent Latin American left what James Carville was for Democrats in the United States during the 1990s. Unfortunately, for Chávez, Santana’s makeover might not be enough. Most polls show the president parked below 50 percent and Capriles closing the gap. In Latin America, even the greatest of kingmakers is only as good as the man who wears the beret. (The Daily Beast; 09-30-2012;

Venezuelan youth could decide if Chavez remains in power
Angie Rivas grew up in a “Chavista” household, one so supportive of President Hugo Chavez that family members participated in the populist leader’s huge rallies and voted with the masses as he fended off challengers in one election after another. But Rivas, 25, is one of an increasing number of young Venezuelans who have grown tired of the rampant crime and moribund economy, the electrical blackouts and Chavez’s bombastic speeches. This group could be decisive in an election Sunday that will determine whether Chavez rules until the end of the decade.  I was only 11 when Chavez got into power,” said Rivas, who is campaigning for opposition leader Henrique Capriles. “But there are holes in the roads, you cannot find a job, there is crime and problems with health care and education. That’s because of 14 years in which the government hasn’t done anything.” The two sides are fighting over an ever-expanding and politically energized segment of the population: the estimated 7.5 million Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 30 who make up 40% of the electorate. (The Washington Post, 09-29-2012;

No comments:

Post a Comment