International Politics

Hugo Chavez: friend or foe?

photograph of flag poles with different country flags

If we listen to the President and his opponents, we have two very different pictures of the situation in Venezuela and its democratically-elected leader Hugo Chavez.  Hugo Chavez is a socialist.  Oh my goodness! That damn dirty word: socialist.

That word is what leaders in the United States use to win elections–especially if they are Republican leaders.  Is Chavez dangerous? Yes and no.  Chavez himself isn’t dangerous, but, yes, while there are still revolutionary elements in the country and the party, it isn’t him–it’s his ambition.  He isn’t willing to play by the rules that America and the western powers say he has to play by.  He will invite oil barons to his house, speak to people who some may call terrorists, and work with organizations that aren’t very reputable. Why? As Jay-Z would say, “it’s all about the Benjamins.”  He wants a power base, and the way to get that in most Latin American countries is to have the money to provide.  The people in Venezuela like Chavez because he has kept his promises to them and has worked for them. Sometimes I wonder if this man has made a deal with the devil, and that it may blow up in his face.

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