June 05, 2009

You, oil dictators, give us our (f……) oil revenues.

Sir Martin Sandbu and Nicolas Shaxson in “Give the people their resources wealth” June 5 write that “improved transparency, has hardly empowered ordinary citizens”. Of course not, with respect to oil revenues improved transparency is more like allowing the tortured to also be able to see when they extract their fingernails.

There are many places where citizens are finally waking up to the fact that the principle of that very well intentioned Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and that states “We affirm that management of natural resource wealth for the benefit of a country’s citizens is in the domain of sovereign governments to be exercised in the interests of their national development”, is just plain wrong.

And if there is truly one single thing the US should regret in the US is not having taken the opportunity to promote oil revenue sharing of the citizens in Iraq. Trying to sow democracy in a land where oil resources are centralized would be laughable but for its tragic implications.

In Venezuela I have over the last two years published at least 40 articles on the subject of why we need to wrestle away the oil check-book from the Hugo Chavezes of this world, and I am currently trying to form a global coalition of oil cursed citizens, to see if we can help each other since, at the end of the day, there is no such thing as an oil-cursed politicians, oil-cursed governments or oil cursed policymakers, on the contrary they are all most often shining examples of oil blessings... there are only oil-cursed citizens.

Unfortunately, since we citizens do not have the oil revenues yet, few want to help us, they prefer helping the dictators to become more saloon respectful dictators, but I guess that’s life on the oil curse lane.