Venezuela should have bigger worries than U.S. sentiment

This past week Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has threatened to burn his own oil fields if the United States attacks Venezuela – even though the U.S. has publicly said they have no intention to attack Venezuela.

Chavez said “We won’t have any other alternative – blow up our own oil fields – but they aren’t going to take that oil.”

Venezuela is the fifth-largest oil exporter and is one of the biggest suppliers for the United States. If Chavez did this it would not only hurt the United States but it would also destroy Venezuela’s economy.

Chavez’s paranoia is fueled by the fact that the United States is performing naval exercises in the Caribbean this month. I also believe Chavez is afraid that he will end up like Saddam Hussein since the U.S. has proved they will take at any regime that is security threat to this country.

Chavez said the United States is “searching for an excuse for anything.” He also claims the naval exercises in the Caribbean are nothing but a way for the U.S. to threaten Cuba and Venezuela. Chavez said, “The latest they’ve invented is that we’re sending uranium to Iran, and what’s more yesterday it came out in the Venezuelan press that we’re making a secret plan to bring Iranian nuclear missiles and install them in Venezuela.”

There are suspicions that over the past few years Venezuela and Cuba have been making deals with Iran. In 2001, a Venezuelan newspaper said that Venezuela and Iran made a secret deal to ship missiles to Cuba and Venezuela in oil tankers. The paper cites an unidentified United States intelligence source though the Venezuelan officials have denied this.

Chavez’s political opponents don’t believe there will be an attack by the U.S. and Chavez’s warning about a U.S. attack is far-fetched.

Chavez has said he will prepare for a U.S. attack as he claimed it’s inevitable. Chavez also wants one million people to join a civilian militia to train and prepare for a U.S. attack. Chavez says the only way to beat the U.S. is by guerilla war.

Currently there are about 150,000 people in the civilian militia but the actual Venezuelan military has 100,000. Chavez’s critics say the military presence is nothing but a way to suppress opposition in his country and protect his presidency. This is probably the real reason for military preparations as it makes more sense than accusing the United States of planning to attack Venezuela.

Chavez is doing all he can to eliminate the possibility of another military coup. The most recent coup occurred in 2002.

Chavez seems more paranoid abut the United States than neighboring country Colombia. Unjustifiably because a Colombian paper reported there is a plot by the Columbian government to assassinate Chavez .

There has been some friction with Venezuela and some other South American countries. The reason being Venezuela withdrew Wednesday from a trade agreement with multiple South American countries because Peru and Colombia made free trade agreements with the United StatesChavez has worse problems to worry about than the United States. Another coup is a real and constant threat as his opponents will seize any opportunity to get rid of him.

If the United States did get rid of Hugo Chavez, another military coup would probably be nipping at his heels since we wouldn’t want to put troops in Venezuela. Chavez is a threat to stability in the South American region and many people feel the same way – I think his paranoia is justified.

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