by J. Christoph Amberger
Venezuelan President Hugo “El Comandante” Chavez was reelected for a second six-year term last Sunday. Not surprisingly, the neo-communist platform he espouses stresses redistribution of wealth and strident opposition to the United States.
Being the foremost neo-com agitator in the region, Chavez’ victory continued a streak of leftist election victories in the Americas in the last month and a half.
For the foreseeable future, Venezuela will continue its chosen role as the cornerstone of Latin American petro- and narco-communism. Unlike other totalitarian rulers before him, Chavez is making no secret out of his ambition. He vowed to use his renewed mandate to abolish presidential term limits and create a single-party system to secure his power for decades. But like other totalitarian leaders of the past, his declared enemies are “International Capital” and, of course, the United States of America.
-- Now, leftist crackpots come and go, but Chavez is different. He is a master populist and not afraid to use the power that comes with his broad mandate... and the billions of petrodollars that have been pouring into Venezuela for the last couple of years. For the past two years, Chavez has successfully schmoozed the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Iranians and any other country eager to take his dollars either in exchange for goods and technologies or for firming up their own anti-American politics.
He has been using both his wealth and his diplomatic skills to establish a new power bloc right at the doorstep of the U.S.A.
Among its most outspoken allies in the region are narco-communist Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador (who won a runoff election last week). Both countries are already heavily dependent on financial assistance from Chavez petrodollar riches. (Morales depends on Chavez even for his own transportation: Venezuela is rumored to be footing the bill for his presidential airplane.)
Socialists Lula in Brazil and reborn Sandinista head honcho Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua have also won recent presidential elections. Both still pursue a less contentious course than Chavez. In Mexico, the Chavezian loser of the recent presidential election has declared a parallel government.
-- Here’s what you can expect from Venezuela in the next three years:
* a complete renationalization of the oil industry and other key economic sectors, eventually leading to a drop in oil production and exploration;
* the establishment of a government monopoly on information and the press;
* redistribution of petrodollars to the Venezuelan poor in the form of food, health and education programs;
* an emigration wave of the Venezuelan middle class to Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and the United States;
* the construction of Russian armament and munitions factories on Venezuelan soil;
* the acquisition of Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean long-distance missile technology;
* the pursuit of nuclear capabilities in cooperation with Iran, Russia, and North Korea; and
* the pursuit of continental dominance, extending its reach into Cuba.
In the coming months, Venezuela will increasingly use its role as the fourth-largest oil supplier to the United State to exert political pressure.
Seventeen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with our eyes focused on the sectarian slaughter in the Middle East, we’re almost oblivious to the reemergence of communism right at our doorstep. There are no policies in place to contain it... and in fact, with a Democratic congress, America’s political culture is weaker to fend off the contamination.
Think avian flu is a threat to your safety? Wait until nuclear-tipped missiles are being stationed in Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador.