Hugo Chavez, the yanqui-hating dictator of Venezuela, will not accept Washington’s proposed emissary and has dared the United States to break diplomatic relations. It seems Ambassador-select Larry Palmer’s sin is that he did not applaud Chavez when he used his rubber-stamp parliament to perpetuate his dictatorial regime. The State Department’s limp-wristed response was to cancel the visa of the Venezuelan ambassador. That, and silence from the White House, told the megalomaniac in Caracas exactly what the United States will do when Iran finishes building a nuclear missile base in Venezuela — absolutely nothing.
Like Marxist Fidel Castro was in the 1960s, Caudillo Chavez is today’s darling of American liberals and the international left. They are enchanted with his underclass roots, his anti-imperialist posturing, and insults he hurls at the United States in media shows that are crowd-pleasing combinations of Keith Olbermann rants and videos of “The Big Guy from Brooklyn.” More ominously, Chavez has imitated Castro, and like Fidel he has found a big brother to give him the nuclear military clout to dominate Latin America: The Islamic Republic of Iran.