Leave Chavez in his sandbox

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  1. He’s a threat to democracy where, exactly? In Venezuela, clearly…

    Actually, if he (like Castro before him) tries to export his “revolution” to his neighbors (and there is evidence of this – Columboia comes to mind), then he may well be a threat to democracy outside of Venezuela.
    However, I agree with you – leave him down there to rot in his own self-importance: don’t give him any publicity, and if he steps out of line and actually starts being a threat to other countries, smash him like an eggshell.
    ~EdT.

  2. Ed’s nailed it — Chavez sees himself as the next Bolivar, eager to overthrow what he sees as imperialism across Latin America. Socialist expansion in Latin America will add to the already vast numbers of immigrants into the United States.
    Yes, it’d be nice to get away from foreign oil. But that’s not going to happen tomorrow or next year. But it’s entirely possible that Chavez could do real damage to his own country — and neighboring ones — in that same timeframe. His actions will affect the United States.

  3. Matt and Ed —
    I’m sure he does, in fact, have ambitions beyond Venezuela. That is, after all, what dictators and tyrants thrive on. But he (and they) also gain enormous clout when we give them our undivided and outraged attention.
    Yes, he could become a problem. But that day is quite a ways away — and while nationalization is certainly problematic for private companies who have invested there, it’s also a known risk when doing business in those countries.

  4. IIRC, there was a certain dictator (actually, it ended up being a pair of them) in Europe during the 1930s that the democracies tried a similar tack with. We just need to understand them, it was said. They have their legitimate needs/grievances. If we just try to get along with them, surely it will be better for everyone.
    And, we now see where that got us – and how many had to pay a horrible price for that hubris.
    Actually, at this time I would far prefer that we engage this idiot in the diplomatic arena. It is quite possible (though not guaranteed) that, if the right corrective actions can be applied displomatically, maybe we can avoid another Iraq.
    ~EdT.

  5. if the right corrective actions can be applied displomatically, maybe we can avoid another Iraq.
    My mind boggled here. I’d have said Venezuela has light-years to travel before anyone could start attempting to frame the situation as a threat so dire, it requires preemptive action. But perhaps I’ve misunderstood what you’re saying?

  6. How about “an ounce of prevention….”
    The fact is that, while he isn’t a serious threat (at least nowhere near the level of those two Europeans), the presence of all that oil money could give him the resources to cause a whole lotta trouble – something he seems to be predisposed to do.
    We can engage him, shining the light on this cockroach.
    Or, we can ignore him, and hope he will go away, and we can celebrate “Peace in Our Time” like Mr. Chamberlain did. Without, of course, what came afterwards.
    ~EdT.

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