VENEZUELA: Pefro/ecrr Society

When Carlos Andrés Pérez was elected President of Venezuela a year ago this week, his country faced an enviable economic crisis. Rising oil prices threatened to fill the national coffers at more than triple the 1973 rate of $3 billion. "The $10 billion will crush us," warned former Minister of Mines and OPEC Founder Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo. "We have a President with a moun tain of gold to dispense. Everyone will be thinking how to put his hand in the bag."

As it turned out, Venezuela had a few creative ideas of...

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