Last time it was Spain’s King Juan Carlos telling Venezuela’s strongman buffoon to shut up at the Ibero-American summit. This time it’s Saudi King Abdullah reminding Hugo Chavez that OPEC isn’t his political toy.
At the summit’s opening ceremony on Saturday, Chavez sought to bring OPEC back to its militant and revolutionary roots.
“OPEC should set itself up as an active political agent,” Chavez said.
While Chavez’s 23-minute statement was brief by his own standards, it drew a gentle rebuke from King Abdullah, the Saudi monarch, who chided him for talking longer than the time allotted by royal protocol. He also turned down Chavez’s plea, saying: “Those who want OPEC to take advantage of its position are forgetting that OPEC has always acted moderately and wisely.”
This meeting, which lasted less than 24 hours, was supposed to focus on long-term issues like the security of supplies and environmental policy. The Saudis in particular sought to reassure the world that OPEC was a reliable oil supplier.
“OPEC has made a point, from its establishment, to work for the stability of the oil markets,” said the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal, at a news conference after the close of the summit on Sunday. “Oil should be a tool of construction and development, not one of dispute.”
Take note of one thing in all of that: Hugo Chavez is trying to start up a worldwide economic and maybe shooting war against the US with oil as the main weapon. That would be, literally, a war for oil.
That should give his lefty allies in the US a few aneurysms. Well, it would if they bothered to do any actual thinking.
By the way, King Juan Carlos’ “talk to the hand” moment has become a mega-hit as a ringtone.