News & Politics

Venezuela Arrests Two Chevron Executives

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during a march, at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, April 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

As Venezuela suffers through the end stages of socialism, it seems that its government would rather its people starve than give up on its utopian dreams.

CNBC reports: “Venezuelan Sebin intelligence agents burst into the Petropiar (PDVSA) joint venture’s office in the coastal city of Puerto La Cruz on Monday and arrested … two Venezuelan [Chevron] employees for alleged wrongdoing.”

What was the crime? “The executives were arrested after disagreements with their PDVSA counterparts over procurement processes, two of the sources said.”

A spokesperson for Chevron acknowledged the arrests, and said the company is working to make sure the employees are safe and to get them released in a timely manner. She declined to comment further.

Business disagreements are not grounds for arrest — unless you’re in a socialist hellhole like Venezuela, where disagreeing with the government makes you an enemy of the people.

Raul Gallegos, associate director with consultancy Control Risks, argued that this will remind companies  to never “assume that good relations with PDVSA can last forever due to a common interest in pumping oil.”

“The level of corruption in PDVSA, especially under a military administration, can and will trump production logic.”

These are far from the first oil executives to be arrested by President Maduro, but these are the first with American ties. When things go bad, socialists look for scapegoats. It’s likely these two employees are just the latest attempt to blame private business for Venezuela’s government nightmare.

Socialism is an economic system uniquely able to create famine and economic hardship. Maduro’s regime seems more willing to continue on this path towards being another North Korea than to embrace liberty.

Socialists rarely look at socialism as the problem, though. It’s always someone else’s fault — and the solution is always more socialism.