In spite of Venezuela’s President Chavez’s illness, the lack of an obvious successor, along with his support among the poor, make him a formidable opponent in 2012.
Executive power in Venezuela has been so -centric that it’s anybody’s guess who would replace him were he unable to govern.
Without technology and know-how, even the world’s largest oil reserves are worthless.
Alvaro Colom signed an oil deal with Hugo Chavez while trying not to alienate the United States.
This past September, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew criticism for comparing the current situation in Mexico to “Colombia 20 years ago.” Most of that criticism questioned whether the analogy was appropriate or whether the statement was an unnecessary affront to a close U.S. ally, the Mexican government of Felipe Calderón. But the more significant part of Clinton’s comments was her enthusiastic praise for Plan Colombia—the massive U.S. military aid package started by her husband in 1999—and her insistence on the need “to figure out what are the equivalents” for other regions, particularly Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Venezuela tests the fast-food waters. Expansion to U.S. unlikely though because it’s subsidized by the government.
As the United States continues to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, the Islamic regime is engaging in a foreign policy counter-attack with profound strategic consequences. The theater of strategic warfare between the United States and Iran has expanded well beyond the Middle East.From sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, Iran is selling arms, offering aid and investments, and otherwise establishing a new pattern in south-to-south relations as it battles what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls “Western arrogance.”
It might be easier to talk Venezuela off the nuclear-weapons ledge if the U.S. weren’t so intent on filling the coffers of its own nuclear-weapons industry.
Latin America is endowed with 132 billion barrels of “proven” oil. Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador have significant reserves and strong state involvement in the exploration and production of oil through their nationalized companies PetrÃ›leos de Venezuela (PdVSA), Petrobras, Pemex, and Petroecuador, respectively. There have been several notable legal developments this year in all four nations, which will have consequences for U.S. energy policy and thus its relations with oil providers overseas.
The stage was set for a showdown. Hugo Chávez and Barack Obama exchanged another round of insults before getting on their planes to head to Trinidad and Tobago. Many countries came prepared for an all-court press to admit Cuba to the Organization of American States (OAS) and demand lifting the U.S. embargo against the island. Five nations that form part of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America, vowed not to sign the official declaration of a Cuba-less OAS.