Brisbane targetts ExxonMobil

March 1, 2008

Twenty protesters staged a late afternoon rally on Friday 29 February against ExxonMobil's new attack on Venezuelan sovereignty, outside the Treasury Casino.

The focus was on spreading information on this corporate predator's activities, which the monopoly media suppresses; highlighting British, US and Dutch court orders freezing the assets of Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, in an attempt to undermine to Venezuela's popular social programs.

Speakers highlighted ExxonMobil's history of support for brutal regimes in oil-rich countries, dating from its incarnation as the Rockefeller-owned Standard Oil of New Jersey. In the 1940s Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda wrote a poem on the company, in which he satirised Standard Oil's arrival in Latin America "with their signs and boots, their cheques and guns, their governments and their prisoners".

In 1979 David Rockefeller congratulated the fascist Argentine dictator Videla for "controlling terrorism and strengthening the economy".

In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez's government has come to an agreement with other corporations with investments in the Orinoco belt to grant PDVSA a controlling interest in all projects — as dictated by the Chavez's May 2007 nationalisation decree. ConocoPhilips joined ExxonMobil in refusing Venezuela's offer to stay as a minority partner in its ventures, but says it is in "amicable" negotiations with Venezuela over compensation for the takeover.

ExxonMobil, has launched a legal attack on Venezuela, securing the freezing of more than US$12 billion in PDVSA's foreign assets. Its agenda remains Standard Oil's historical one: overthrow democracy at any price to "strengthen the economy".

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