Thanks for the intro, Val… I am quite honored you have asked me to be a Guest Blogger as you recuperate.
This problem in our hemisphere is coming from our nation’s longtime friend and trading partner Venezuela, a country so friendly in the past that it was nearly invisible on our news radar. Barely anyone realizes that as recently as 1998, Venezuela was our number one foreign oil supplier. No more – communist management efficiency and ‘work incentives’ have now dropped it to fourth or fifth. But as that’s happened, it’s moved proportionately higher on the Axis-Of-Evil In Waiting scale, a truly shocking development from a country that has always been a friend.
What’s significant about this metamorphosis? Besotted El Barbudo is at the disturbing center of it.
The Post writes:
Mr. Chavez, a disciple of Cuban President Fidel castro, has also accelerated his attempt to reorient Venezuelan foreign policy away from the United States and other democracies. In recent weeks he has visited Iran, Russia, Libya and China, in addition to Cuba.
The Post also lashes out at Bianca Jagger’s icky ex-boyfriend Senator Chris Dodd for mewling that we should ignore Chavez’s Zimbabwe-style land confiscations and think about our oil-importing relationship with Venezuela instead. That’s castro with Oil, Dodd, and don’t try to distract us when what we’ve got is a mounting new menace strangling democracy just 1500 miles from our shores.
UPDATE: The momentum against the Thugs of the Caribbean is building much more strongly than I originally supposed. The WSJ, The Economist, and the Church have also weighed in today on the Chavez and Castro problem.