The president of the state owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (Pdvsa), Alí Rodríguez Araque, assured that through the company’s Fund for Economic and Social Development, it has been possible to construct infrastructure works such as the La Vueltosa hydroelectric plant, the eastern Venezuela highway and the western Venezuela highway.

He said that at present, oil sales “yield enough money to deposit in this fund, that was 1,200 million U$ last week, and that we can now increase up to 2.000 million”.

Indeed, he indicated that many works that were halfway through (and therefore generating much loss) are being completed. Furthermore, “other works that are fundamental, such as the La Fría-South Lake Maracaibo railway are underway” he said.

When asked about the influence of the presidential referendum results, Rodríguez answered that the rise trend in the futures market is a result of an atmosphere of high speculation.

He said that in the New York Stock Exchange, speculators buy and sell contracts on oil barrels to be allocated in the immediate future (two or three months), “there, the demand for barrels does not correspond to the real demand” he informed, and affirmed that a week before, there had been subscriptions for128 thousand oil contracts, “which is equivalent to 128 million barrels, when the real demand for crude oil is at 84 million barrels”.

According to Rodríguez, there is much speculation in the national media, “they claimed that the political turmoil about to break out in Venezuela could disrupt oil production, and thus the future markets could make contracts to sell them at higher prices later on in order to gain profits” he expressed.

Nevertheless, he concluded, “this did not take place; it was a product of an artificial atmosphere, created by the national and international media, that launched a campaign against Hugo Chávez Frías, president of the Republic.”

Published in Quantum, No 29