Much has been made about Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The Exxon exec’s close relationship with Vladimir Putin- essential for operating his business- is being pushed as evidence by people who have been wrong about everything and never had a real job in their lives that Trump is a putin stooge.
But nothing could be further from the truth, when it comes to Trump and especially when it comes to Tillerson. As the Daily Caller reports, Tillerson is no pushover:
Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Secretary of State, took on Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez in his bid to seize Exxon property.
Chavez, a famous thorn in the side of the U.S., nationalized foreign oil assets in 2007 amidst a decline in oil production. The move came after Venezuela’s national oil company hired foreign oil contractors, like Exxon Mobil, to help it extract oil from its aging infrastructure. Tillerson immediately took Venezuela to the World Arbitration Court, seeking $16.6 billion dollars in owed compensation.
Exxon won nearly $1.6 billion in asset rewards in 2014, and immediately began drilling off the coast of Venezuela in Guyanese waters for oil. Venezuela’s government claims the waters as its own, and is deeply upset at Exxon’s significant discovery in previously unexplored waters.
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro was reportedly so incensed by Exxon’s discovery that he issued a May, 2015, decree laying claim to the Guyanese waters in question. “I ask for the help of the whole country, all social and political sectors, civil and military, to defend our territory, defend our fatherland,” Maduro said in the country-wide announcement.
These are the sort of things that are required of oil executives, whose business often depends on building relationships with the volatile madmen who often reign where oil sits. They’re skills that should help Tillerson, which is why he’s been given a stamp of approval from the likes of Bob Gates, Dick Cheney, and Condoleeza Rice. They’re the sort of skills America’s been lacking under President Obama, and they’re why we look forward to his confirmation.