Kevin McCullough

Should an attack on any group of Americans be considered an act of good will? Should a hostile takeover of natural resources be considered a threat? Should a foreign power have the right to unilaterally seize American assets with impunity?

Well I suppose if you're Barack Obama, and the foreign power is Hugo Chavez, and the group of Americans are associated with natural resources--specifically oil and natural gas, the answer is obviously no!

Here are the specifics. As of June 24, 2010 at 5:28pm EST, Hugo Chavez had initiated a hostile takeover of eleven oil rigs owned by the American company Helmerich and Payne. Make no mistake this rigs are not remotely mistakable as being the property of the government of Venezuela. But that made no difference to Chavez, and evidently not to the Obama administration, because to date they've taken no action to force Venezuela to return the ownership, and it is now four days into July.

Even more audaciously the "oil minister" of Venezuela goes on national television announcing the actions, claiming justification for the takeover due to Helmerich and Payne's rejection of a formal order from the Chavez government to resume drilling.

Leftists never call things what they actually are either, so you have to understand their code to truly comprehend Chavez's aggression.

He calls it "nationalizing" but in reality it is nothing short of felonies by theft. And when you consider the value and expense to drill each site with each rig the cost of the theft is in the billions of dollars.

Now would you like to know the truly secret irony of the entire matter? Helmerich and Payne had told Chavez to pound sand until he paid his bill. Estimates are that he is in arrears to the U.S. company to the tune of 100 million dollars. Chavez's "oil minister" claims that Helmerich and Payne were violating the agreement by squabbling over "service prices."

Back in the real world Helmerich and Payne said, "we only want to be paid for the work already performed."

Come now, someone actually getting paid for the work they do? How dare they? The insolence! The capitalist pigs!

Evidently the announcement caught Helmerich and Payne by surprise given that they were still in negotiations with Venezuelan puppets when the oil minister popped on to the television screens.

Helmerich and Payne have worked in Venezuela for over fifty years.