Category Archives: Venezuela

Venezuela is Part Nation/Part Disaster/All Tragedy

Obviously in Miami, I meet, know, and do business with a lot of Venezuelans. I’ve been reluctant to read anything about the country on the fear that the news will be bad. Well, even so, there are people doing business successfully in Venezuela, and Venezuelans finding opportunities outside of Venezuela. If you’d like to see how, don’t be shy about contacting us.

Venezuela’s President Maduro wants to raise oil prices to $70 – and fast. His plan, announced on Venezuelan television this week, is to somehow stabilize oil prices despite weak demand and near record production from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iran over the past several months. Maduro has a phone and he is using it (when the electricity works) to call every OPEC oil minister and some non-OPEC oil ministers to talk about cutting production. Not only is this strategy going to fail (the most important producing countries are not incentivized to freeze or cut production now), but Venezuela’s oil problems run much deeper.

Venezuela’s great paradox is that it holds the worlds’ largest known oil reserves yet cannot feed its own citizens or keep the lights on in its major cities. Riots around the country are laying bare the effects of corruption and decades of socialist policies. Venezuela’s oil production has been declining for years, going from 3.3 million barrels a day in 1997 to about 1.9 million barrels a day in 2016. Venezuela cannot afford to produce the oil it needs to sell. It costs approximately $18 to produce a barrel of oil in Venezuela, but not all of that cost is due to Chavez and Maduro’s policies. Most of Venezuela’s reserves consist of oil that is expensive to recover, making it less valuable (when still in the ground) and more difficult to exploit.

Venezuela became a major oil producer when easily recoverable oil was discovered in Lake Maracaibo in 1914. Venezuela knew it had heavy oil in the Orinoco Belt, but this oil is difficult and expensive to retrieve. In 2006, the national oil company started accessing it, meaning that Venezuela’s recoverable oil reserves rival Saudi Arabia’s. However, production from the Orinoco Belt is still extremely costly.

Oil production from tar sands is one of the more expensive forms of oil production today. The procedures used to extract oil from the tar sands are expensive. Moreover, once extracted, the heavy oil must be blended for most uses. When the average price of oil was in the upper $20/barrel range, Venezuela was losing money with each sale.

Read Forbes article here:

http://bit.ly/2bblzeH

Haiti in Club Med Revival: Destination Haiti

Haiti in Club Med Revival: Destination Haiti

Lucio Garcia-Mansilla had long heard about the former Club Med property tucked along the Haitian Riviera, 123 acres lined with lush vegetation and a mile-long expanse of white sand.
But it wasn’t until decades later — when Haiti’s investment climate began to welcome international brands — that the Argentine founder of Colombia-based Decameron Hotels & Resorts would get there.

Read Jacqueline Charles’ article here:
http://hrld.us/1WCIo9d

Brought to you by Miami International Business Attorney

Venezuelan strives for better U.S. relations

Maximilien Arvelaiz does not look or sound like a hardened socialist tactician going toe-to-toe with the U.S. government.

Instead of military garb emblazoned with medallions, the young Venezuelan diplomat wears designer suits and vintage glasses. His talk isn’t peppered with vitriolic attacks on Yankee imperialism, but with references to pop culture and U.S. television.

Yet Arvelaiz, 43, is at the center of one of the most acrimonious relationships in the Western Hemisphere. For the last year and a half, Arvelaiz has been working behind the scenes trying to re-establish a functional relationship with U.S. officials.

Read FRANCO ORDOÑEZ article here:
http://bit.ly/1OCxVrw

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Colombia glitters abroad amid grumpiness at home

By any yardstick, Colombia is poised for a stellar year. It’s expected to sign a peace deal that will end the hemisphere’s oldest civil conflict, have the re-gion’s strongest economy, and play host to high-profile visits from both Pope Francis and President Barack Obama. To top it off, it’s even in the running for an Oscar.

But talk to people on the street and the mood is de-cidedly sour. Pocketbooks have been strained by the twin woes of a devalued currency and nagging infla-tion. And an El Niño-related drought is threatening water and energy shortages.

In that sense, Colombia is likely to have both a ban-ner and a bummer of a year. And whichever senti-ment tips the balance could have deep repercussions for President Juan Manuel Santos.

Read JIM WYSS Miami Herald article here:
http://bit.ly/1OuHpoL

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China not Amused by Taiwan’s 1st Female President

China not Amused by Taiwan’s 1st Female President

“Sisters are doing it for themselves”, and their broth-ers seem not to be cool with that. For example, Tai-wan elected Tsai Ing-wen as its first female presi-dent Saturday, handing her pro-independence party its first majority in the national legislature and reject-ing the China-friendly party that has led the self-governing island for eight years.

The result seems to be deeply unsettling to China, which may respond by further reducing Taipei’s al-ready limited ability to win diplomatic allies and participate in international organizations.

In a statement issued after Tsai’s win, the Chinese Cabinet’s body for handling Taiwan affairs reaf-firmed its opposition to Taiwan independence, but said it would work to maintain peace and stability between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It’s the Asian Century just in case you’re not paying attention.

Read ABC News Christopher Bodeen and Ralph Jennings article here:
http://abcn.ws/1Q4vLRL

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New Congress in Venezuela Anticipates Tension

Venezuela

Well, yeah, what did you expect?

In what’s likely a sign of things to come, the inaugural session of Venezuela’s National Assembly on Tuesday devolved into shouting, shoving and recrimination as the opposition took control of the body for the first time in 17 years.

The ruling-party delegation, long accustomed to holding sway in the legislature, stormed out of congress as they accused their rivals of violating internal regulations.

But beyond the posturing and brinkmanship, the opposition bloc laid out the guidelines of what they said would be their program to rescue the country.

Read Jim Wyss’ Miami Herald article here:
hrld.us/1Zc9N72

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Venezuela Back in the U.S. Dollar Business

If you can’t beat them, join them.  That’s the old saying, right?  Well the Venezuelan government has just shown signs of waiving a white flag.  That thing that they told their citizens not to do, they’re doing it.  Venezuelans lined up Thursday for their first chance in years to change bolivars into dollars without having to justify why they need foreign currency.

The socialist South American country launched a new exchange system last week that allows individuals and businesses to circumvent decade-old currency controls and legally buy greenbacks.  Not to belabor the point, but times are sure getting tough in Venezuela these days.

Read Hannah Dreier’s Miami Herald article here:

http://hrld.us/1BvYOct

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CRISIS: Lack of Breast Implants in Venezuela

Oh the humanity!  Shortage of toilet paper, I can live with, currency exchange limitations, grin and bear it, but lack of breast implants!  Yes, we have a crisis on our hands in Venezuela.  Venezuela’s chronic shortages have begun to encroach on a cultural cornerstone: the boob job. Beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a scarcity of brand-name breast implants, and women are so desperate that they and their doctors are turning to devices that are the wrong size or made in China, with less rigorous quality standards.

Read Hannah Dreier’s Miami Herald article here:

http://hrld.us/1AReT7x

Brought to you by Miami International Business Attorney

Venezuela Importing Gasoline!

Despite having the largest reservoir of proven reserves in the world according to OPEC, Venezuela, under Chavez, cannot produce enough gasoline for its own needs.  Some are concerned that Venezuela is losing a sizable amount of petroleum to smugglers along the border with Colombia, while others think Chavez is merely an idiot.

Read Antonio Maria Delgado’s Miami Herald article here:

http://hrld.us/QyE1aX

 

Brought to you by Bob Arnold from Miami International Business Attorney.