The curse, revisited


OIl CurseOne of the points of this book club is to better understand Venezuela, and you simply cannot understand our country without understanding oil.

Now, there are a lot of books on how oil affects our country – Terry Karl’s “The Paradox of Plenty” comes to mind, as does Rómulo Betancourt’s “Venezuela, Política y Petróleo.” But they’re pretty old.

What has been written about this topic recently?

Well, my oil buddies suggested I take a bite out of Michael Ross’s “The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations.” This will be the book club selection this month. As per usual, I know next to nothing about the book or its author, but judging from the title itself and the comments in the Amazon page, I’m confident we won’t be disappointed.

The book is in English, and available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle. We’ll meet again in two weeks, at the midpoint, to discuss how the reading is going.

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  1. Venezuela doesn’t have as much oil as Venezuelans think, it’s a lot more expensive to extract than in used to be, and Pdvsa is ruining the reservoirs it produces, which will reduce reserves even more. Factor in population increases, and Venezuela simply never was what Venezuelans thought.

  2. Not much enthusiasm (judging by the comments section) for this book, but I bought it and am at the halfway point. Are we still proceeding with a discussion or should we just finish it and talk about it in a couple of weeks?


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