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Hugo Chavez


#1

I don’t know how long a topic like the following will last on TripAdvisor, considering the political overtones:

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g147271-i387-k6223368-Hugo_Chavez_dies_How_will_this_affect_Havana_Cuba-Havana_Cuba.html

I don’t know a lot about Venezuela, but I was there a couple of times before Hugo. I see comments on CBC about the poverty, but let me assure you the poverty was there well before Hugo was elected.

If Venezuela’s constitution supports it, I would think the vice president should stay in power until the next election. If that is the case, there should be little or no economic impact on Cuba until the election. That’s barring any coup attempt, revolution, or interference by any foreign power(s).


#2

There are big shoes to fill. Condolences to his family and his country.
Cuba is holding it’s breath.


#3

[quote=@spunky]There are big shoes to fill. Condolences to his family and his country.
Cuba is holding it’s breath.[/quote]

The Americas are holding their breath… Rich oil country like that; Cuba sure is holding their breath to keep having V, as an ally! Personaly I hope that the warm relationship between the two countries continues :slight_smile:


#4

Will be interesting to see what happens in V. Will it be still as anti-American with a new leader. Will the ties remain as tight and close as it was between Castro and Chavez.

I do beleive that Cuba relies alot on V for imports/exports and CHEAP gas and oil.

The thread is still going on TA so far…we will see.


#5

If you give everything to the poors you get elected for life. Who are the poors? the farmers, the laboures, the one who stay home… Mr. Chavez took the country wealth to give it to Bolivia, Nicaguara, Ecuador, Cuba to build his own supporter and little empire. The country just devalue the currency few months ago. Now every countries llok for foreign investments and he goes for opposite direction. This is just my personal though.


#6

Vice president Maduro will carry on as interim president until the election that will be called within 30 days. I wasn’t clear on this constitutional requirement at the time of my first post.
I was reluctant to post at TA, because I was sure the topic would be gone by this morning, but I see it is still there.

When I was last in Venezuela, I remember that people I talked to were holding out great hopes that Hugo would do good things for the country. I haven’t been back since then, and so I don’t know from my own experience if the people who were so optimistic then felt disappointment with the path things took, or if things did get better like they expected.

It is true that there are many people in Venezuela that are deeply saddened by Hugo Chavez’s death. What I found disappointing was Barrack Obama’s comment that sounded like a hint at the intent to interfere in another country’s affairs. And Stephen Harper’s plagiarizing of Obama’s remarks.

If Maduro loses the election, relations between Cuba and Venezuela will surely change, and most likely for the worse from Cuba’s point of view. But Cuba may need to become even more dependent on tourism than they are now.


#7

I can’t help but think of the simple aspect of one old friend losing a younger friend. I think of the loneliness of an elderly person slowly losing friends and people he loves. I can imagine that FC and HC enjoyed one another’s company very much, knowing that they “got” each other, the way I would “get” another person who does my job at another company.

Let’s pour one out for Absent Friends, whoever they may be.


#8

As I expecetd, the topic on TA has turned quite political, with the left and right elements battling over whether Chavez has been good or bad for Venezuela. The original question was whether it would affect Cuba, and of course only time will tell if the next government follows similar policies toward Cuba.

Now one poster is suggesting that Venezuela is single handedly responsible for $100/barrel oil. Not sure how that works out, but it prompted me to do a bit of research. It seems that Alberta’s proven oil reserves are about 5.7 times greater than Venezuela’s. So a more USA-friendly government in Venezuela could have a negative impact not only on Cuba’s economy, but on Alberta’s as well. For some reason, the Americans seem to prefer to buy heavy bitumen from Venezuela rather than from Alberta.


#9

Why pay $90 for Venezuelan crude?
For $55 a barrel, the USA will buy all the oil that Alberta can steam out of the ground.
Maybe Albertans should refine their oil on site to get top dollar for the gasoline.


#10

[quote=@spunky]
Maybe Albertans should refine their oil on site to get top dollar for the gasoline.[/quote]
Absolutely they should. Why not add value and supply more jobs in Canada?

And I am one of the “political” posters on Trip Advisor. Couldn’t resist! ;D


#11

eeeefarm, this is the Palapa. We say what we want to. LOL


#12

Unfortunately, common sense, economics and politics all go in different directions. I read a long explanation as to why it would be wrong to build a proper refinery in Alberta for the tar sands oil. To put it in a nutshell, the cost and time to make one operational are astronomic and the risks are very substantial. This past year, the US has become awash in natural gas due to the enormous success of fracking. So much so, that it accounts for a large portion of the stability of petroleum prices worldwide. If that trend continues, the tar sands may indeed be in trouble. The tar sands become an economic nightmare if the price of oil drops too far because they are so costly to mine. Alberta is now firmly in an economic problem. Who would ever have guessed.

I have my own opinions on how nasty the tar sands are but that doesn’t affect the economic realities. Don’t even get starting on fracking. >:(


#13

Glad to see someone calling the tar sands by their correct name, instead of the re branded “politically correct”, cleaner sounding version. Fracking is just stupid, and environmentally irresponsible, but there’s money in it. ::slight_smile: Watch the price of clean water soar after we have contaminated most of it!

Back to the subject of the thread. Interesting article on Chavez:

http://ericmargolis.com/2013/03/the-colonel-we-love-to-hate/


#14

National Geographic has a good article on fracking this month. Good and scary, that is.


#15

I have to point out that “fracking” isn’t something new. Deep reservoirs were “fracked” so long ago that even I don’t remember how long ago it was. What is new is that it is being done in shallow shale gas formations, and the risk of breaking through to the surface is greater.

I saw David Suzuki’s program on it, and it isn’t so much the fracking that is stupid, but the way they are going about it in some places that is stupid and environmentally responsible. I would like to believe that they would never be allowed to do it under Alberta’s regulations.

As a side note, back in the really early days, in Pennsylvania, wells were stimulated by pouring a charge of liquid explosive (I think it was nitroglycerine) down the hole and setting it off. The completly uncontrolled explosion would fracture the formation and blow oil up the wellbore. Then the well would produce more, but it was a completely disgusting practice.

I won’t try to tell anybody that producing (oil or any other kind of industry) is clean, but there have been a lot of improvements over the last 100 years in how things are done.

By the way, not all butumen produced in Alberta comes from mining tar sands. More and more of it is produced by in-situ methods that are a lot cleaner (at least given the present state of the mining technology.)

As far as the name, I guess bituminous sands is really the correct name, but that’s harder to say and type, so I guess tar sands will have to do if you all prefer it. But I remember it was called oil sands to from way back before there was a need to be politically correct about it. To me those names are all interchangeable.

As to refineries, I don’t understand why we aren’t building them in Alberta. It would be good for our economy, and it should cost less to transport refined products rather than crude oil, whether it is conventional oil, heavy oil, or upgraded heavy oil.

And finally, carbon emissions: Far more CO2 is emitted by the burning of fossil fuels than by the production of them. If north Americans would give up their love affair with pick-me-up trucks and SUVs, and drive something more sensible, there would be less demand for oil. I realize there are some people (farmers, etc.) who need a bigger vehicle, but there is no need to drive a gas-guzzling truck to go to work five days of the week and the mall on weekends.


#16

Cubajack, I am the smartest person I know but my Phd thesis on tar sands is not completed yet. ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile:

Yes, fracking is old technology. As you pointed out, the method used now is different and more questionable. It won’t stop because when poor people are given a choice between short term jobs and clean water, they make bad choices for greed.

The reason (as I understand it) a refinery won’t be built is that it will take a decade from start to completion at minimum. The costs are enormous and the risks are substantial. It doesn’t cost much more to pipe heavy crude than it does refined oil. The refineries in Texas are already built and at far below capacity. Besides, Texas seems to want the pollution from refineries, Alberta already has enough. The pipeline, if it is built will lower the cost of transport, so Alberta oil will be more attractive.

Oil is not in high demand, no matter what the price we are paying for gasoline might argue. The recession in the US is not about to reverse too fast and the demand for oil is not about to change overnight.

The sad reality is that what makes sense is usually not what is done. Eco friendly cars are not selling well at all. Car companies and environmentalists say otherwise but sales statistics don’t lie. I saw a recent comparison with the VW Jetta. It’s the only vehicle available with diesel, gas and hybrid options on the same car style. Under normal, typical North American use, the hybrid can’t pay for itself in savings over the expected life span of the car. That’s why people aren’t buying hybrids. Your opinion (or mine) doesn’t sway those with a shortage of cash in their pocket when they are car shopping.
It’s the same reality as fracking, buy cheap now, your kids will pay later. The human race is a race to extinction.

Now back to lying on the beach and sipping rum. ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile:


#17

Dax, you’ve got a good understanding of all of this. You might be ready for that PhD.

Your comment on the hybids is quite true, but I don’t think it is necessary to spend extra money to buy a hybrid just to make a difference. I have a car that doesn’t use any more gas around town than most hybrids, and yet will take me on a 1000 km trip in pretty good comfort. I’m guessing that I burn less gas in a year than a lot of people driving hybrids, or at least not much more.

By the way, my car cost me way less brand new than the half-ton pickups that most of my neighbors have. I’m sure that most of them would claim that they are much more comfortable in their bigger vehicles, but the seats in my car are the most comfortable I have ever had in a car, and I can carry more luggage in the trunk of this one than I could in my previous full-size car. (Plenty of luggage for a two-week road trip, in fact.)

I think a lot of people do look fairly hard at the price of a car, but the smaller cars are generally cheaper than the bigger SUVs, and get better gas mileage. So why do a lot of them spend big bucks for something they don’t need, and uses lots of gas? Out here in the west, at least, I think it’s some kind of macho cowboy thing.

But the beach, and a rum drink sounds like a good idea too.


#18

[quote=@dax]The sad reality is that what makes sense is usually not what is done…The human race is a race to extinction.
[/quote]
Unfortunately humans are short term thinkers, and politicians generally the shortest of all. Personal greed gets in the way of any consideration for the next generation. We are all guilty to one degree or another.

I have driven cars that get good mileage all my life. I do have a Hyundai Tucson, which ain’t great on gas (but not bad for a 4x4), and it pulls a horse trailer and gets me out of my driveway after a snowstorm, but it stays in the garage and I use a fuel efficient car most of the time.

For years we used VW diesels, fabulous mileage! But the quality control started to slip and we switched to Hyundai. Accents have been our ride since the late '90s, and they have done the job well. (it’s also amazing what you can stuff into a hatchback!)

If governments would put as much money into subsidizing green technology as they do into dirty technology, we would be a lot better off. And if kids would walk to school as they used to do (uphill both ways for miles in the snow, don’t you know) they wouldn’t be so fat and unhealthy, but the only place they want to walk these days is across the road from the school to the pizza joint.

Off my soapbox. I am old enough that I don’t have to worry much (unless there is reincarnation), but I despair for the coming generations that must live in the world we leave behind.


#19

Truth be told ,
The governments of the world want you to use MORE fuel not less.
That 13 % tax we have would be cut by 30 to 40 % if present fuel saving products were allowed to be recognized. But they are not and never will be. This tax amounts to BILLIONS of dollars each year and a cut like that will put a crimp is every elected officials’ trip junket allowance.

I know this is true because of the struggle we are going thru and have been for the last 6 years.


#20

In NB there was even an attempt to make car pooling illegal.