Behind the bluster is an economic relationship of high dependence on Western powers.
Oil revenue accounts for 90 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings, 50 percent of government revenues and nearly one-third of GDP. About three-quarters of Venezuela’s oil production is exported. Nearly one-quarter of its exports head north to the United States, as do nearly one-third of its total imports. Venezuela’s oil is laden with sulfur; the best-suited refineries happen to be located in the United States. And yet, per the rhetoric, the world is expected to consider Mr. Chavez the scourge of the industrialized, purportedly imperialist West. Meanwhile, Mr. Chavez shreds the constitution.
Imagine that—even though chavez has a high dependence on the US to maintain the Venezuelan economy afloat, he uses this to further erode democracy in the country and install himself as lider maximo for life.
Wait a second… isn’t trade and dialogue with a two-bit dictator supposed to have the opposite effect?