Hugo Chavez is the prototypical, two-bit, tin horn dictator. Jimmy Carter, not withstanding, the last election in Venezuela was about as fixed as they come. Of course, don't tell Jimmy that, there has not been a despot in years that Jimmy has not embraced. He and his group had no clue what was going on in that election. But, that is another matter. Chavez is going to become a major problem in South America and very soon. He has a great amount of oil money to use as he sees fit and what he sses fit is to purchase as many wepons as he can. His alliance with Castro should have been the bell ringrer. Investor's Business Daily looks into Chavez and his lengthing shadow over South and Central America.
"The contradictions mean something ominous: There's a bully stalking the hemisphere, and his shadow is lengthening. The region's weakened states have well-founded fear of being Chavez's next target. He can cut off their oil. He can crush their economies. In the past two years, he's done it on a hair trigger.It would appear that Chavez has designs on becoming some sort of South American over lord. His open support of terrorist group that are aligned with the left should be raising a slew of red flags. Engaging in economic warfare is some thing the UN is supposed to prevent. Fat chance of that.
He did it to Colombia this year, shutting down border trade in a dispute over the apprehension of a terrorist. Before that, he did it to the Dominican Republic, cutting off oil in a fit of pique over an asylum case. Indirectly (at the very least), he's supporting Bolivia's coca-growing roadblockers who are trying to starve Bolivian cities into submission to their demands for investment-killing taxes. That's economic warfare.
Now he's telling Caribbean and Central American states that if they hope to buy a drop of Venezuelan oil, they'll go through Castro's Cuba. He has announced a new scheme to put Venezuela's Caribbean oil operational headquarters in Havana.
"Castro does have useful purposes for Chavez. Whatever the true level of Chavez's popularity, he's a nervous leader, cocooned by security, alarmed by the unprecedented corruption around him and raving about enemy encirclement.If some tout Chavez as "popular", then why is this man running so scared? This movement of resources and economic offices to Cuba is an indicator that Chavez is so scared he needs a safe harbor. Chavez will become a major problem that will need to be dealt with down the road, unless he is over thrown. With his corrupt political machine running any elections in the future, it is unlikely that he will be voted out of office. Of course, Chavez can always depend on the likes of Jimmy Carter to legitimatize any future election that keeps Chavez in office. - Sailor
He's so afraid of potential rebellions that some observers believe his real game is to set up a safe place in Havana for Venezuela's biggest money centers — oil and banking. That in turn would keep cash within his access. No people-power revolution can reach this money in Havana.
So, if there's a revolt in the restive oil fields of western Venezuela or in Caracas, money will still be accessible to Chavez's political machine, far from the hands of his democratic opponents.
Venezuelan cash in Havana also props up Castro. Ironically, this oil alliance will likely serve to entrench both leaders. That in turn will free them to take up more predatory practices around the region. A long shadow of tyranny over the Americas looks to be lengthening."