Monday, March 24, 2008

Exxon Emblazed on Easter

The Venezuelan tradition of burning a Judas effigy during the Easter holiday took a strange twist, as one of the ceremonial burned effigies was donned in a two piece suit and labeled "Mr. Exxon" in Caracas. The ceremony which was attended by hundreds of spectators was organized by the mayor of the city, who is a political ally of Hugo Chavez.

The Venezuelans have much to celebrate, as PDVSA had $12billion of their assets unfrozen earlier this week. The money had been frozen through international courts by ExxonMobil, who is suing the Venezuelan oil company over assets lost when Hugo Chavez nationalized the Cerro Negro project, a venture that had been worked on with Exxon prior to being taken over.

I think it's interesting that even Easter in a nation whose people are strongly Roman Catholic can be so easily spun with political overtones without much opposition. While Easter doesn't necessarily have the strong humanitarian associations that Christmas does, I would still think that people would want to keep it as a day of good will.

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