Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chavez Wants To "Reset" Relations With The US

You catch more flies with Obama than with vinegar.

US-Venezuela tensions always seemed a lot more smoke than fire to me. Chavez may want to become a dictator, but he's not one at present, and on the whole he hasn't done anything as horrible as any number of villains we backed during our long and brutal history in Latin America. His real beef, as I understand it, is just that America has always opposed him, and that we weren't very nice to Venezuela when oil was cheap in the 1990s and they were hurting. Right now, it's relatively cheap again, and that plus a president who cares about good international relations is making Chavez talk sense. If he's open to a deal where we send them some foreign aid or something in exchange for long-term oil price security, I'd be for it.

Let's hope Obama seizes this opportunity.

2 comments:

Carl said...

His real beef, as I understand it, is just that America has always opposed him, and that we weren't very nice to Venezuela when oil was cheap in the 1990s and they were hurting.

Also, we did try to oust him in a military coup.

drip said...

Then there is the fact that 1 OPEC country removed the US as reserve currency (Iraq in 2002); one has openly discussed it (Iran since 1999); and one has suggested it to OPEC (Venezuala in 2000.) Chavez raised the issue again last week. We shall see how whether this is honey or vinegar to Obama's lips, and I certainly view his suggestion as sensible, but the powers in Washington will certainly disagree. I suspect Chavez will be watching the reaction to this suggestion pretty closely. Chavez is widely viewed as a clown in most of Latin America but his recent comment that $80 oil seems "fair" provides a lot of cover to Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, the real economic powerhouses in Latin America.