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Monday, August 02, 2010 / 3:44:24 PM

VHeadline.com remains 100% independent of all political factions in Venezuela


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Published: Monday, August 02, 2010 Celebrating the life and times of:
Bylined to: Jerry Brewer Bolivar's Aide-de-Camp
Gen. Daniel Florence

Jerry Brewer // Venezuela and a constant


meddling in neighbors' affairs O'Leary
ces Jerry Brewer: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has remained in office
********
for over a decade, shows no apparent signs of future restraint when it comes to Editorial:
bullying and aggression against his western hemisphere neighbors. Roy S. Carson
Editor@VHeadline.com
As far back as early 2006, then Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo
announced that he wanted President Chavez "to respect Peru's domestic Patrick J. O'Donoghue
affairs." This amid speculation that Chavez was granting illegal Peruvian news.editor@VHeadline.com
immigrants Venezuelan nationality if they committed to vote for then nationalist telephone Houston TX
candidate Ollanta Humala in Peru's presidential election in April of that year. Voicemail only!
This ultimately resulted in Peru recalling its ambassador from Venezuela "due USA First Na
to open support by Chavez for Presidential candidate Humala who had 713.893.1433 713.893.1433
ces previously met with Chavez and Bolivia's Morales in Caracas." telefax 208.723.4962
der

As well, Mexico was not immune from Chavez' manipulation and wrath as ******** Privacy Policy

presidential candidates in that country, in 2006, were also quick to point a


finger. Roberto Madrazo accused Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of being in Enter Stock Symbol
contact with Chavez aides, claiming that Chavez was trying to "influence the
upcoming elections."
Dow 10678.46+212.52
S
Nasdaq 2296.81 +42.11
RY The previous year Mexico had also accused Cuba of meddling in its
S&P/TSX11713.43 -15.21
internal affairs, and the Cuban ambassador was sent home. TSX Ven 1427.36 +5.08
ge Indices data
Delayed 20 minutes.
Chavez launched insults at then President Vicente Fox, calling him a "puppy of
er US imperialism." This open hostility continued with Chavez threatening Fox -- Foreign Exchange Rates
ms telling him, "Don't mess with me sir, or you will get stung." This too ultimately
ers led both nations to recall their respective ambassadors. Caracas Stock Exchange
Argentina Sao Paolo
Chile Mexico
Spain Toronto
London LSE France
Moreover, then Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda urged Fox to Italy Germany
"completely break" relations with Venezuela, stating "Chavez is orchestrating a Israel Hong Kong
campaign throughout Latin America to interfere in elections in Mexico, Korea Singapore
Nicaragua, Colombia, and Bolivia." This prompted former US secretary of state
Condoleezza Rice to describe Chavez as "a negative force attempting to
influence neighboring countries away from democratic processes."

US officials also accused Chavez of being linked to the ongoing political crisis in
Nicaragua that involved a US ally, former President Enrique Bolanos. The
accusations included Chavez meddling by "riling up people" to vote against US
backed democratic candidates in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, among
others.

Chavez openly and aggressively supported Evo Morales for Bolivia's


presidency. Upon achieving victory, Morales wasted no time in travelling to
Cuba prior to his inauguration. His second stop was Venezuela, where he told
people that Bolivia would join the anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist block --
noting that "Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez champion the movement."

Chavez boldly commented that he would be discussing proposals made by


Bolivia's Movement for Socialism (MAS) with Morales. Morales had earlier been
active with Chavez in international anti-imperialist, indigenous, and social
events.

Although Chavez, after more than a decade, has yet to save Venezuela from
poverty, corruption, crime, militarism, monopolistic capitalism, and oil
dependence, he agreed to supply Morales in Bolivia with 150,000 barrels of
diesel fuel per month, stating: "I will not accept payment from you of a cent."

Chavez' early years in office graphically demonstrated his lavish spending of


some 30% of GDP in 2004, including over US$2 billion in military weapons, and
they telegraphed a future of failure to make meaningful improvements in
education, poverty, or equity at home for the citizens of Venezuela. Allegations
even then spoke of "Chavez and his cronies stashing millions of petrodollars
overseas in banking havens" If that speculation were indeed genuine, those
funds could easily be used to finance leftist covert agendas or significantly
improve the lives of the ruling elite when power wanes and muscle becomes
flaccid.

Much of Chavez' sinister and odious rhetoric against the US obviously stems
from Colombia's victories at home against narco-traffickers and revolutionary
forces. Colombia's outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, much like Mexican
President Felipe Calderon, has done an admirable job with a no nonsense
approach and aggressive hand in confronting enemies head on.

The US has stood strong in support of these free nations. The issue of US
military bases near Venezuela supporting Colombia's valiant fight, as well as
Colombian airborne battalions equipped with a helicopter fleet made up mainly
of Blackhawks, makes the Colombian Army Air Corps one of the best equipped
and most experienced in Latin America.

Chavez may be ecstatic to be rid of Uribe soon. However, President-elect


Juan Miguel Santos has a documented history of aggressive and covert
action against the enemies of Colombia and the support of a Colombian
populace exhausted by revolutionary bloodshed.

Chavez' anti-imperialist card has previously been a good subterfuge to


camouflage his failures at home. But much like the bully who throws a
rock and hides his hand -- someone is watching.

 Jerry Brewer is CEO of Criminal Justice International Associates,


a global risk mitigation firm headquartered in Miami, Florida.

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