Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama presidency could hurt Venezuela’s Chavez?

If Barack Obama becomes president then problems will arise for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, according to an article in today’s Christian Science Monitor. Though Chavez’ views are closer to the Illinois senator than GOP rival John McCain, the piece posits that Obama would be less of a “punching bag” than current president George W. Bush:

Mr. Chavez has made an art out of insulting President Bush and his "imperialist" foreign policy. [ed. note – such as this diatribe on Tuesday calling for an “end to the (U.S.) empire"]

A McCain victory would allow him to sustain that message: Mr. McCain, after all, hails from the same party and shares many of the same policies as Bush. But Senator Obama is a different story…

"It's hard seeing Chavez calling Obama 'Satan' and the likes," says Ray Walser, a Latin America expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "He won't get as much traction."

Certainly there are those who back McCain such as right-wingers and proponents of free trade. Yet the article by Sara Miller Llana observes Obama's popularity in Latin America which could force Chavez to tone down his rhetoric:

"He would shift his tone probably away from personal attacks to questioning US policies and engagement in the hemisphere," Walser says. But his real aim "is his idea of restructuring Latin America, to make it an independent force."

What do you think of the article?


Sources- Xinhua, The Latin Americanist, Christian Science Monitor


Anonymous said...

I honestly think that it does not matter who win the election. In the end. Crazy Chavez will hate America and anybody living in America.

Most of to the time President ooppp. I mean to say Dictator Chavez talk out of his arse. Es un Loco fanatico

Anonymous said...

As an American living in Venezuela, I have observed President Chavez to be an extremely intelligent and compassionate person. I believe Barack Obama shares those qualities.

There is no reason to believe that two such leaders would not maintain sane, civil and rational relations with each other.

Chavez has maintained excellent relationships with virtually all other leaders in Latin America.

Bush, on the other hand, is a designedly ignorant, bullying, narcissistic personality who has been a puppet in the hands of the power-hungry Cheney.

The result has been horrendous suffering: an illegal invasion of Iraq, the illegal kidnapping, killing and torturing of thousands of innocent persons.

The arrogant Bush-Chaney team supported the 2002 coup against the democratically elected Chavez, continues to fund his opposition, and has funded and otherwise enabled Colombia's President Uribe to carry out illegal attacks bordering Ecuador and mount paramilitary assassination squads within Venezuela.

The entire world sees Bush-Chaney and McCain as dangerous war-mongers, that is why the majority in the world support Obama.

When Chavez talks about the evil Bush, he speaks only the truth.

Chavez will also speak the truth to and about the intelligent, rational Obama.

Yes, as the facts of U.S. foreign policy changes,so will Chavez's
words, as well they should.

Chavez does not hate Americans -- he gives our poor very cheap oil -- but he hates the vicious imperialist policies of the Bush administration. Again, as well he should, as should we all.

Anonymous said... about using a "stick and carrot policy"? as Obama said a couple of days ago? what do you think about that?

Does it bother you at all?

Two things come to mind: the U.S. political elite regards Latin American countries as children that need to be constantly watched over by a benevolent parent (the U.S. of course), so they don't stray.

The other thing is, pledging to use a policy of "carrots and sticks" does not exactly sound like a respectful way to address other countries. Imagine the hypothetical case of a powerful foreign government saying they will use a policy of "carrot and stick" against the U.S.? Wouldn't that sound offensive to you?

But of course, the U.S. is not an empire, no way...It's Chavez who is crazy!