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ExxonMobil Wants to Start a War in South America (Counterpunch)


ExxonMobil Wants to Start a War in South America – By Vijay Prashad (Counterpunch) / Dec 6, 2023

On December 3, 2023, a large number of registered voters in Venezuela voted in a referendum over the Essequibo region that is disputed with neighboring Guyana. Nearly all those who voted answered yes to the five questions. These questions asked the Venezuelan people to affirm the sovereignty of their country over Essequibo. “Today,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, “there are no winners or losers.” The only winner, he said, is Venezuela’s sovereignty. The principal loser, Maduro said, is ExxonMobil.

In 2022, ExxonMobil made a profit of $55.7 billion, making it one of the world’s richest and most powerful oil companies. Companies such as ExxonMobil, exercise an inordinate power over the world economy and over countries that have oil reserves. It has tentacles across the world, from Malaysia to Argentina. In his Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (2012), Steve Coll describes how the company is a “corporate state within the American state.” Leaders of ExxonMobil have always had an intimate relationship with the U.S. government: Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond (Chief Executive Officer from 1993 to 2005) was a close personal friend of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and helped shape the U.S. government policy on climate change; Rex Tillerson (Raymond’s successor in 2006) left the company in 2017 to become the U.S. Secretary of State under President Donald Trump. Coll describes how ExxonMobil uses U.S. state power to find more and more oil reserves and to ensure that ExxonMobil becomes the beneficiary of those finds.

Walking through the various polling centers in Caracas on the day of the election, it was clear that the people who voted knew exactly what they were voting for: not so much against the people of Guyana, a country with a population of just over 800,000, but they were voting for Venezuelan sovereignty against companies such as ExxonMobil. The atmosphere in this vote—although sometimes inflected with Venezuelan patriotism—was more about the desire to remove the influence of multinational corporations and to allow the peoples of South America to solve their disputes and divide their riches among themselves.

CONTINUE > https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/12/06/exxonmobil-wants-to-start-a-war-in-south-america/


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