Is Norway the Best Mediator for Venezuela? (Equinor+Story+Guaido)

An investigation carried out by the Venezuelan news website La Tabla questioned the suitability of Norway to mediate in the political conflict in Venezuela, since Juan Guaidó’s “candidate” to preside over Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), serves as vice president of Equinor, the state oil company of the Nordic kingdom.

In a tweet on February 22, La Tabla warned that “Norway’s oil interests in Venezuela and the Caribbean are relatively well known, which would explain its active participation in the Venezuelan political conflict. There are Venezuelan officials of the Norwegian state oil company, Equinor, who are also agents of Guaidó’s gang.

The website detailed that Guaidó’s candidate to lead the reins of PDVSA, Gustavo Barquero Méndez, is co-author of a preliminary draft of the Organic Hydrocarbons Law presented by the previous legislature of the Venezuelan parliament in which it was argued that “under a new scheme, foreign companies would help with the recovery,” by means of the bidding for “new oil concessions with an auction system.”

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This idea is elaborated in detail in the book Venezuela Energética, co-authored by Leopoldo López, in which a deceptive mechanism is proposed to finish off the Venezuelan state oil company, consisting of offering a “direct” benefit from the oil rent by means of the delivery of shares to each citizen, in contrast to the control that “a hegemonic state” would exercise.

In conservative political circles, Barquero Méndez is not an unknown figure. On April 23, 2018, he was described by Americas Quarterly, a right-wing media outlet linked to the NGO America’s Society, as “one of the 10 personalities who would one day help rebuild Venezuela.”

The Venezuelan, with roots in the Caracas oligarchy, has been a friend “since his youth” of López, and studied at the Andrés Bello Catholic University and Harvard University. “He is the son of Gustavo Baquero Aristeguieta and María Antonieta Méndez Marcano, and grandson of the doctor Manuel Méndez Gimón,” wrote the news outlet.

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Barquero Méndez has held positions with oil transnationals BP, ExxonMobil, and Repsol, and is currently vice president of technological innovation at the Norwegian state company Equinor.

Based on the above, La Tabla warned that “the Nordic participation (with extensive diplomatic experience) in the Venezuelan conflict obeys Norwegian geo-strategic interests.”

A further indication was that at the beginning of February “the arrival of a Norwegian delegation to Caracas was announced to explore the continuation of the negotiations.” In addition, last week it emerged that Norwegian representatives had participated in the meetings between the “virtual” ambassador of the United States for Venezuela, James Story, and agents of Juan Guaidó in Bogotá.

 

Featured image: Norway’s state oil company Equinor might be behind the European country’s negotiations in Venezuela. Photo courtesy of Anadolu News Agency.

(La IguanaTV)

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/JRE/SL

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