Venezuela's Alpha and Omega

Thanks to a friend, here you have a graph on month-by-month oil prices from October 1998 to last month. I made the graph. I will try to make a better one when I get some time. You see OPEC, Venezuela and Brent prices for most of the time but there is some data mining for Venezuela's prices for some years. Still, the price can be deduce as it is usually just a little bit below OPEC prices and these a little bit below Brent ones (not always).

Chávez was elected in December of 1998. Before that oil prices had been around 12-15 dollars per barrel for almost one decade. 91% of Venezuela's foreign currency comes from oil exports and Venezuela imports almost all the rest.

The first red spot you see in the graph is the moment when former military coupster Chávez was elected. The second spot is when massive marches took place against Chavez. An extremist group used the 11 April march to stage a coup and Carmona became dictator for 2 days. Shortly after that the opposition tried for a long time to call for a referendum but the government did everything legal and illegal to prevent it and then to put it off while oil prices kept increasing. The referendum took place under international pressure at the moment you see marked with the third spot. Chavez's last referendum took place just two months ago. You see the last spot there. Notice oil prices today are for sales to be payed approximately in three months, so in March Venezuela was just "feeling" the prices of December.

Venezuela's average oil price is still several times higher than in the last decade before Chavez came to power. Still, now the Venezuelan government has been forced to start looking for loans abroad under very bad conditions.