Skip to comments.Chávez's goal: Create a leftist empire in Latin America
Posted on 06/24/2005 3:43:19 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela wants to build a new empire.
The new strongman of South America hopes to re-establish a new Gran Colombia -- including Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama -- an oil-rich colossus astride a key global trade route and access to the Panama Canal.
Chávez has adopted the repressive practices of his friend Fidel Castro: Civil society has been strangled, the churches have been cowed, teachers cannot speak freely and private business has been decimated. He has taken over foreign-exchange institutions, established neighborhood-watch committees with spies and sacked the best of the military.
Billions in oil revenue have disappeared, even as poverty levels have increased from 44 percent to 54 percent of the population during Chávez's misrule. Twenty-seven thousand Cubans have been imported to, in part, spy and do his dirty work, even as some of them masquerade as doctors or teachers.
In return 80,000 barrels of oil per day -- 29 million barrels of oil per year -- are sent to Cuba with no prospect for payment. Already, Cuba owes Venezuela $1 billion.
Even while furnishing the oppressive Castro regime with free oil, the official unemployment rate in Venezuela exceeds 16 percent, a nearly 50 percent increase since 1998. The number of private industries has dropped from more than 11,000 to 5,000. And public debt has risen from $27 billion to $44 billion.
Chávez has kept his disastrous economic policies partly afloat by his mass distribution of free beer to the poor amid the slums of Caracas and elsewhere.
Chávez has assumed control over the state-owned oil industry, PDVSA, while firing 7,000 staff and top management, resulting in peak production being 1 million barrels less than capacity as what used to be one of the best-run oil industries in the world has sharply deteriorated.
Oil revenue has been stolen to finance government political campaigns, buy off opponents, pay off the Cubans, buy weapons and establish relations with terrorist nations and terrorist organizations.
It is here that the actions of Chávez are most worrisome. Chávez has financed campaigns in other countries to topple democratic governments, such as in Bolivia and Ecuador.
Chávez has established relations with North Korea and has boasted of building a nuclear program with help from Iran.
Reports are that Chávez will redirect the oil he currently exports to America to China by 2007.
The United States cannot accept the manipulation of its economy by a dictator bent on conquest and empire. It calls for two things: Adoption of an American energy policy that not only frees us from imported petroleum but eventually from oil altogether; and a major push for the establishment of democracy in Venezuela.
AHHHH a man for the times. Sorry, Chavez, we are waking up. Guess what, keep your revolution in your own backyard.
I just ate breakfast. Now I'm in the kitchen, poking around in the cupboard. Where's the Zantac?
I don't know how we should approach this mess now, but we really dropped the ball in 2002 when we had the chance to get Chavez out. Also, Carter gave Chavez a huge boost by legitimizing the last sham election in Venezuela.
Chavez is the President of "New Zimbabwe".
South America is already run by leftists, with the exception of Chile.
Best summary I've seen of this.
Leave it up to President Peanut to do the worst possible thing for America and freedom at every turn. At least American Heritage recently named him one of the worst five presidents ever not that one hundred such annoucements would begin to undo the damage that man has done.
Greetings from Panama.
At best, you are considered and looked upon as a crackpot here. Stay home.