Refinery Blaze: Seven Good Reasons to Suspect SabotageBy James Petras
Global Research, September 01, 2012
“You can’t exclude any hypothesis … It’s practically impossible that here in an [oil] installation like this which is fully automated everywhere and that has thousands of responsible workers night and day, civilian and military, and that there is a gas leak for 3 or 4 days and nobody responds. This is impossible.”
President Chavez responding to U.S. media and opposition charges that the explosion at the oil refinery was due to government negligence.
Only 43 days before the Venezuelan presidential election and with President Chavez leading by a persistent margin of 20 percentage points, an explosion and fire at the c killed at least 48 people – half of those were members of the National Guard – and destroyed oil facilities producing 645,000 barrels of oil per day.
Immediately following the explosion and fire, on script, all the mass media in the
Yet there are strong reasons to reject these self-serving accusations and to formulate a more plausible hypothesis, namely that the explosion was an act of sabotage, planned and executed by a clandestine group of terrorist specialists acting on behalf of the U.S. government. There are powerful arguments to sustain and pursue this line of inquiry.
The Argument for Sabotage:
(1) The first question in any serious investigation is who benefits and who loses from the destruction of lives and oil production?
(2) According to official government documents the
(5) Force, violence and destabilization campaigns against incumbent regimes have become common operation procedure in current
(6) Domestic politics in the
The Obama regime has responded by escalating its military policies – battleships, missiles are aimed at
(7) With a little more than a month left before the elections, and President Chavez is showing a 20 percentage point advantage; the economy is on track for a steady recovery; social housing and welfare programs are consolidating massive low income support or over 80%; Venezuela has been admitted into MERCOSUR the powerful Latin American integration program; Colombia signed off on a mutual defense agreement with Venezuela; Venezuela is diversifying its overseas markets and suppliers. What these facts indicate is that
Hopefully, the Chavez government, backed by the vast majority of its citizens and constitutionalist armed forces will take the necessary comprehensive security measures to ensure that there is no repeat of the petrol sabotage in other sectors, like the electrical grid. Public weakness in the face of imperial belligerence only encourages further aggression. No doubt heightened public security in defense of the constitutional order will be denounced by the US government, media and their local clients as “authoritarian” and claim that protection of the national patrimony infringes on ‘democratic freedoms’. No doubt they prefer a weak security system to ply their violent provocations. Subsequent to their decisive electoral defeat they will claim fraud or interference. All this is predictable, but the vast majority of voters who assemble, debate and cast their ballots will feel secure and look forward to another four years of peace and prosperity, free from terror and sabotage.