US Stalks Gulf of Mexico Oil Wealth

Mexico, Dec 30 (Prensa Latina) US pressures on Felipe Calderon s administration to privatize Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and other parts of the energy sector, as natural gas and power generation, are high on its agenda.

This is not new. It has been the axis of Washington”s policy since September, 2002, when the White House presented its National Security Strategy. President George W. Bush mentioned old warmongering concepts as the Blitzkrieg or Lightning War and other geopolitical notions reminiscent of Hitler times as “vital space” and the Great Area in the Western Hemisphere policy.

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He also stressed the “energy security” of the United States. Bush then said exactly: “We will strengthen our own energy security and shared prosperity of the world economy collaborating with our allies, trading partners and energy producers.” Mexico gathers the three qualities mentioned by Bush: it is a political and ideological ally of the United States, trading partner in the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and traditional supplier of oil to the imperial nation.

The “collaboration” between the US and Mexico was established in the Alliance for Security and Prosperity of North America, also formed by Canada.

The bloc initiative of old colonial rule was signed in Texas, 2005, and is aimed at consolidating the silent and subordinated integration of Canada and Mexico to the hegemonic superpower.

In March this year, on the eve of his trip to Mexico, the US president insisted that Calderon should “open the energy sector” to private investment. In particular, he referred to the expansion of oil production in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico which, he said, requires heavy capital investment.

The gradual dismantlement and privatization de facto of the Mexican petroelectric complex: PEMEX, the Federal Commission of Power and the Central Company of Light and Power, following the parameters designed by the World Bank and boosted by the duet Bush-Cheney is meant to benefit transnational companies of that Branco and based in the United States.

During the last few days, leaked versions on meetings of Calderon with senator Francisco Labastida Ochoa, former presidential candidate for PRI and a group of lawmakers from the PAN and the PRI.

Calderon would have discussed his intention of opening to private, national and foreign investment, the areas of exploration, extraction, refining and marketing of oil resources and by-products, implying a deep counter reform to articles 27 and 28 of the Constitution.

For reasons of political timeliness, the initiative would have been stopped. However, Texan lobbyists and PAN and PRI lawmakers have been working to modify or emit ten-odd secondary bills which, if approved would annul the constitutional mandate.

They would specially try to open transborder fields in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico to private investment. Calderon s agenda whifch is the same as that of the World Bank and the Bush-Cheney agenda, will insist on economic settlements and special clauses to marginate the Constitution, as the Contracts of Multiple Services, Contracts of Alliancdes, Projects of Deferred Impact in the Expenses Registry (Pidiregas) and other loopholes which have allowed a “technological alliance” between PEMEX and Halliburton and a dozen of foreign transnationals (Repsol YPF, Kellog, Total, Shell, Royal Dutch, Union Fenosa, Mitsui, Chevron-Texaco, Sempra, Teikoku Oil, Tecpetrol) to exploit the oil and gas in Baja California, the Campeche Bay (Cantarell), the Cuenca de Burgos and other regions of the country.

Thus, the scheme of assymetric integration and absortion by North America, pushes the control or energy colonization of Washington on Mexican oil wealth.

In particular, the “emerging frontier”, the Gulf of Mexico, defined as one of the three bigger oil provinces in the World and SEAT of the so called “holes of Dona”, shared by the United States, Mexico and Cuba and subject to the “secret diplomacy” of the US national security system.

The old excuse that the government does not have enough money to make the investments required by PEMEX, and the state-of-the-art technology needed to drill wells in deep waters, but they are really after “strategic associations between para-state entibies”, for example, between PEMEX and Brazilian Petrobrás seeking consensus for a “liberal” interpretation of the Constitution.

In reality, it is a first step awaiting better times. In fact, it means a de facto privatization of certain areas of the energy sector or passing assets of a nation to private foreign ownership.

The author is a famous columnist in Mexican media and collaborator of Prensa Latina.