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WikiLeaks paper reveals US empire was becoming anxious about Venezuela adopting euro and directing exports to China

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.


A cable from March, 2008 was highlighting US concerns about the fact that the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, was about to adopt euro currency for some, or even all of its oil sales.

It appears that the cable source was the US embassy in Caracas and the then US Ambassador to Venezuela, Patrick Duddy.

From the summary we read:

PDVSA is demanding payment in euros for at least some oil sales. It is not clear what is the extent of the new policy. PDVSA is also considering asking purchasers to pre-pay for purchases. To the surprise of industry insiders, PDVSA will comply with President Chavez' order banning asphalt shipments to the United States. Asphalt production will be sold to the Chinese in the form of fuel oil. PDVSA continues to suffer refinery problems and is importing gasoline and components.

Recall that any attempt for liberation from the petro-dollar was one of the key reasons for which the US empire was conducting wars. That is, when oil-rich countries (Iraq, Libya and now Iran and Venezuela), were trying to adopt other currencies and find other markets in order to relief themselves from the brutal US economic war and sanctions.

It is also worth noting that Patrick Duddy was expelled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who claimed to have uncovered an American-led plot to overthrow him. He returned in July 2009 when the Obama Administration restored diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

Key points:

Reuters reported on March 14 that PDVSA was demanding payment in euros for some oil sales. Media reported later in the day that PDVSA officials had confirmed the story. However, a shipping executive and marketing executive told Petroleum Attache (Petatt) on March 14 that PDVSA may now be requiring payment in euros for all oil sales.

The shipping executive stated he was told by a PDVSA finance official that the only exception to the policy was for shipments originating in Curacao. He acknowledged he had received mixed messages from PDVSA officials as to the extent of the policy but added he had seen PDVSA documentation that clearly stated payment was to be made in euros. He added that PDVSA currently has a tender for light naphtha that requires payment in euros. The shipping executive said transactions were to be computed in dollars and then converted to euros at the current rate at the time of invoicing. The executives believe buyers are depositing the payments in a Swiss bank. They believe the bank is UBS.

According to the marketing and shipping executives, asphalt will now be exported to Curacao. Asphalt that previously went to the U.S. market will be sold to the Chinese in the form of fuel oil. The executives believe only 8,000 to 9,000 barrels of asphalt per day is being exported via Curacao. Curacao provides asphalt to the Caribbean. As a result, 80% of the asphalt base is being converted into fuel oil and being sold to China. The executives stated the Chinese have received a good price for the fuel oil since fuel oil prices have been declining recently. The executives believe that PDVSA is picking up the price of transport, which is substantial.

Full cable:


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