Sunday, November 05, 2006


by Rafael Ramírez
Minister of Energy and Petroleum - Venezuela
President of PDVSA

Based on Video obtained 2 NOV 2006

First of all, I would like to greet my fellow members from the Board of Directors who are with me here. We have always been together in every battle and situation we have experienced, particularly following the sabotage against the oil industry. (Could someone please dim these lights a bit in front of me? Perhaps someone could control that.) I also want to greet my Vice Ministers of Energy and Petroleum. Here they are, combative veterans: the directors of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, the board of the National Gas Board, the President of Pequiven, likewise so many comrades who, as Luis stated, are from the front and the rear lines of Petróleos de Venezuela. If they are from the front and back lines, it means they stand at the front of the revolutionary vanguard of our oil industry and that is something I want to talk about here.

So many friends are here: Pedro, Barrientos, Darío, everybody, George, Castillo, Soto, Brito, Iván, everybody… everybody.

And so, we wanted to see a meeting more formal than what I am seeing for starters. Because this is an encounter meant for setting certain political alignments. We are not going to talk about any corporate issues here, about things unrelated to politics, having to do with the company. It has to do with the company, of course it has to do with the future of our country, it has to do with everything, but we are not going to talk about any matter having to do with corporate administration, but rather about our very live issue, ever present in the arena.

We come here to talk politics. We come here to set straight certain issues. We come here to rectify certain issues resulting from a discussion we had at the headquarters of the Board of Directors.

In fact we have been checking and, well, balancing all current issues of a political nature and, well, over there at Board headquarters we have been receiving, we are starting to receive emails, we are starting to receive memoranda of interest, concerning this or that regulation, concerning yes or no for the color red or the Venezuelan codes for the new PDVSA. Let no manager, let no public servant of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, let nobody from whatever payroll, let none of our military personnel, none of our reserves, let nobody, absolutely nobody, who is here at the new PDVSA have the least bit of doubt in their minds that the new PDVSA stands by my President Chávez.

I want my fellow managers to help us eliminate from our regulative language, from our in-house mailings, from any elements guiding the company, any matter that casts doubts as to our support of President Chávez. We have to speak up loud and clear, as all of you have been hearing me say this and we are repeating it. Yesterday we even stated in the press that the new PDVSA is red, truly red, from top to bottom (applauses).

My fellow comrades, this is not the time to behave like any ordinary manager in the oil business, or worse yet, like an oil manager who reminds us of the old PDVSA. I want all of you to shake out of your heads the idea that someone can sanction us, or that someone can criticize us if we state to our citizenry that this company is supporting Chávez one hundred percent. It is a matter (applauses) that has petrified some of our people, our line workers and our staff.

It is a crime, a counterrevolutionary act, for some manager or other here to try to block political expression by our workers supporting President Chávez.

I want for us here to indulge in reflection or in self-criticism, if appropriate but in any case I want for us to be on guard because we are not going to allow anyone inside the company to block or put a freeze on expressions by our citizenry and our workers in support of President Chávez. This is a policy we want to make clear.

We are here to support Chávez, who is our leader, the maximum leader of this revolution, and we are going to do whatever we have to in order to support our President, and anyone who does not feel comfortable going in that direction had better turn his job over to a Bolivarian (applause, the audience cheers: hey, hey Chávez won’t go away). I want all of you to know that is what we have been saying out loud and directly to our workers; this is our message.

And all of you should be so bold as to rise up against any manager who attempts to put a freeze on this passion and tries to block this agreement.

Nobody here inside PDVSA is going to stop Chávez and let it be perfectly clear here inside PDVSA that this new PDVSA, which emerged in the heat of the victory over the sabotage against the oil industry, is a Bolivarian organization, is red and has placed all its bets on Chávez.

That is what we are saying to our staff, that is what we are saying to our workers, and that is what we wanted to say to all of you directly so that we have no doubts here or any surprises when we do what we need to do in order to channel the power of this company in defense of the supreme interests of our countrymen clearly expressed by President Chávez.

We had to remove a person. The man was from one of our operational areas. He then went and allowed candidate Rosales to land and go freely from place to place in the midst of our areas. “Fuck! What the hell is this?” we said, “What’s going on here? Have they gone mad around here? Will it turn out that we have been infiltrated by the “squalid” ones, by the enemies of this revolution?

Well, be forewarned that we are not going to allow it. Whenever we detect incidents similar to that, we are going to definitely terminate them.

Our hand does not tremble, we removed from this company 19,500 enemies of this country and we are determined to continue to do so, in order to ensure that this organization stays aligned and reciprocates the love that our countrymen have expressed for our President (applause).

I become indignant, and I am certain that all of you become indignant, our Board of Directors becomes indignant, whenever we discover that some people are of the Neither-Nor sort, that there are people whose loyalties are of a Lite persuasion, that there are people who say that we are now faced with processes made for each other, that we need to open the thing up. No sir, if anyone here forgets that we are in the midst of a revolution, we will remind him by beating the hell out of him. But this company stands by the President (applause).

Now that we have become managers are we now going to forget how each one of you got this job? How did we get here?

We did not inherit those jobs. We are not Rockefeller’s child who inherits Exxon Mobil, no sir. The revolution has placed us here. Our countrymen have placed us here, President Chávez has placed us here and we have to be coherent and loyal to that trust that came from our countrymen (applause).

I demand combativeness here, I demand a commitment here, I demand that all our front and back line managers here, and that is why I said they must be the toughest of the tough, must toe the line on this issue. Or, my dear comrades, we will all be wiped out and have to make room for others more revolutionary than ourselves.

It should be clear to all of you that the responsibility we have at the front line of this industry is supreme and immense, because what we have been debating here over conquest and takeover has been for purposes of controlling our main resources, oil and gas. The debate is over the control of our main resources, whether to make them available to the service of Yankee imperialism or to the service of our citizenry.
That has to be understood, that has to be discussed, so that we can then see exactly what our role is at this juncture.

There are still some people who say that that business about imperialism is one of Commander Chávez’s exaggerations. Anyone having any doubts about it should go to Fallujah, anyone having any doubts about it should investigate the more than 650,000 Iraqi civilians who have offered up their lives simply because Yankee imperialism has exercised an option, has made a decision, to take control of the oil belonging to the Iraqi people.

Anyone having any doubts concerning Yankee imperialism should go to Bolivia right now and see how they are giving President Evo Morales a dose of the same medicine that was given to President Chávez toward the end of the year 2001, during all of the year 2002, the same international pressure, the same internal subversion, the same elites, something which is awful over there because Indians are despised and now imperialism and its lapdogs are calling it Andean fundamentalism.

We are going to liberate Bolivia, you know. From here we will head over to a meeting at the Foreign Office because we are going with all our weapons to cast our lot with the future of Bolivia along with Evo Morales.

Thanks Pacta sunt Servanda for the translation.

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