From the March 2005 Idaho Observer:

Venezuela actively pursuing other markets

On January 31, 2005, Andy Webb-Vidal reported from Caracas that Venezuela had "...enrolled Iran to help accelerate a strategy to steer its oil exports to China..." and other Asian markets and "...away from its traditional market of the U.S."

About the same time, vice-president Dick Cheney identified Iran as, "right at the top of the list of potential trouble spots."

In hindsight, it appears that Venezuela’s move to ask for help from Iran was calculated to provoke the Bush administration into a confrontation.

As if on cue, less than two months later, it is common knowledge that the U.S. military has been invading Iranian airspace to assess its ground and air defenses in what is likely the last stages of preparation for expanding the oil war into Iran. It is also beginning to pound the American public with anti-Chavez rhetoric.

"The action is part of efforts by Venezuela, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, to strengthen ties with China at the expense of the U.S., with whom relations are strained again after two-years of calm," Webb-Vidal wrote.

The question is, "Did the Bush administration swallow the geopolitical bait because it’s blinded by arrogance or because, with eyes wide open, it fully intends to mire the American people in a war that will suddenly involve China and Iran and likely result in several oil-producing nations ceasing to supply the U.S. with petroleum?"

Further negotiations indicate that several nations are making commerce and alliance arrangements without asking permission from the U.S.: Venezuela has just begun selling crude and fuel oil to China at discount prices and, on January 29, 2005, Venezuela signed agreements that will allow the China National Petroleum Corporation to develop oil and gas reserves in Venezuela. "China has come here as a sister nation to extend a friendly hand to the neediest in Latin America," Chávez said.

Venezuela is also engaged in talks with Panama to find ways to transport oil through the canal to the Pacific Ocean so it can transport oil to Asia more cheaply.

Chavez has threatened several times to deny the U.S. shipments of oil. The U.S. is reportedly studying the prospect of what would happen if Venezuela some day made good its threats.

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