A Pipe Dream for Chavez?

Venezuela's multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline project is on holdthe news affects Chavez's power, his neighbors, and Petróleos de Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez loves using Venezuela's vast oil and natural gas reserves to enhance his power and prestige in Latin America, while thumbing his nose at the U.S. But his hopes for playing an even greater role have suffered an embarrassing setback as potential partners back away from his most ambitious project to date: a planned $20 billion natural gas pipeline that would have spanned the continent, bringing Venezuelan gas to Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The apparent decision by Venezuela's neighbors to freeze or even nix the project may lead to further delays in Venezuela's plans for developing its natural gas reserves.

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