World View: Venezuela Refinery Explosion Threatens Chavez's Reelection

This morning's key headlines from
  • Catastrophic oil refinery explosion in Venezuela threatens Chavez's reelection
  • New rioting in Kenya after assassination of al-Qaeda linked cleric
  • Proposal for ECB to purchase toxic bonds gathers steam

Catastrophic oil refinery explosion in Venezuela threatens Chavez's reelection

A devastating explosion and fire at Venezuela's main Amuay oil refinery has already killed 48 people and destroys several neighborhoods in the vicinity of the refinery. Officials had predicted that the fire, which began on Saturday, would be under control by Monday evening, but instead the fire spread on Monday to a third fuel storage tank, raising the spectre of more possible explosions. 

The explosion is being blamed on a gas leak that neighbors say they could smell for several days prior to the explosion, which sent a shockwave tearing through the surrounding area, shattering shops and homes and littering the streets with debris. Many people are blaming president Hugo Chávez's incompetence and mismanagement as being responsible. However, Chávez is angrily denying that his government owned and run oil refinery could be so incompetent:

What you say you heard suggests something that is practically impossible in an installation of this kind, the largest refinery in the world. It is completely automatised and it has thousands of responsible workers here day and night, civilians and military. There is no way that there could have been a gas leak during three or four days and that no one did anything.

The explosion comes two weeks after a major bridge collapse, followed by a prison riot between two armed groups that killed 25 people. Opponents of Chávez are calling Venezuela a "country of accidents," as Chávez fights for reelection on October 7.

The irony, of course, is that the Amuay oil refinery used to be owned by an American oil company, but was nationalized in 1976. If it were still foreign-owned, then Chávez could speak for hours on TV about the horrible capitalist Americans. But now he's stuck with taking the blame himself. Bloomberg and Guardian and AFP

New rioting in Kenya after assassination of al-Qaeda linked cleric

At least one person was hacked to death as thousands of angry protestors took to the streets in Kenya's coastal city Mombasa, after Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed, a terrorist linked to al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda. According to his widow, "A car behind us aimed at my husband, they shot him on the right side." According to a U.N. report, Rogo has been recruiting militants for the Somalia terrorist group al-Shabaab. Four churches were vandalized and vehicles set ablaze in Monday's rioting, which follows violent riots in another city that we reported on last week. The Daily Nation (Kenya) and CS Monitor

Proposal for ECB to purchase toxic bonds gathers steam

It's the Bundesbank against the world. Germany's central bank stands almost alone in opposing the plans for the European Central Bank (ECB) to "print money" and use it to purchase toxic bonds issued by troubled countries, such as Greece, Spain and Italy. The Bundesbank is warning that any such program would allow any country to go into debt without limitation, allowing all spending programs and corruption to continue and grow. There are several different bond-buying proposals on the table, but what they all have in common is that the ECB would be funding the debt of eurozone countries, something that's in violation of various treaties. Still, the Europeans are so desperate that it appears that one of these plans will be adopted. Meanwhile, the next major showdown for Greece will be at the summit of EU leaders on October 18-19, and it will supposedly be decided at that time whether or not Greece will remain in the eurozone. Spiegel

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail


Breitbart Video Picks



Fox News National



Send A Tip

From Our Partners