America Abroad: The Phony Windfall

The Phony Windfall

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If any country is in a position to profit from the misfortunes of the Middle East, it is Venezuela. As one of the largest exporters of petroleum outside the Persian Gulf, it stands to reap a windfall of $2 billion this year from the rise in oil prices since Iraq invaded Kuwait. Yet as seen from Miraflores Palace, the official residence of President Carlos Andres Perez, every silver lining has its cloud. "This is phony money that we're making from the crisis," said Perez last week. "Whatever it can buy today, it may bring us damage and danger tomorrow."

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