By Bill Kovarik
As a very young news reporter in Washington DC in 1979, I was invited to one of those think tank “luncheons” where everyone chatted amiably about world oil reserves and the imminent collapse of the Persian Gulf.
Not surprisingly, all the speakers agreed that a shut-down of the Persian Gulf would be catastrophic and must be prevented at all costs. That is, all the speakers except one smiling Venezuelan named Alirio Parra, who was then oil minister. The bottom line was: Don’t worry. Venezuela has more oil in the eastern Orinoco than all the Middle East. And, he strongly implied, your petroleum geologists should be more honest with you.
I remember the shouts of outrage from the assembled policy wonks, one of whom yelled that there was “a journalist here” in the same tone that a Victorian preacher might caution: “ladies present.”