Hugo Chavez: Enemy in America's Backyard

If you don’t believe that Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is dangerous to American national security, “Crisis in the Americas”, a new film produced by the American Security Council Foundation, will convince you. 

ASCF drew from their 1980’s video series about similarly threatening countries during the Cold War, called “Peace through Strength.” The new series, called “Defending Freedom”, educates the public about the dangers America faces via Venezuela’s oil-rich dictator.

“Crisis in the Americas” documents the close alliance Chavez shares with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Chavez’s eerily parallel ideologies and close coalition with Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

Several US Congressmen have already indicated support fo the film’s message that Chavez’s danger is serious. In a conference call Wednesday, Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) said “My concern with Iran, is Chavez wants to allow Iran to be a platform in Latin American to influence and intimidate the US, the same way that Castro did with Russia but I think the stakes are much higher.”

Chavez is a well-renowned “bad guy” in the judgment of American conservatives but specifics, like the presence of an operational Hezbollah Latin American group in Venezuela, are rarely publicized. Just three hours by plane off the North American coast, Venezuela’s shadow haunts America’s backyard.

This illuminates the need for strict border controls all across the southern boundaries of America, not just where Mexico is joined to the US.  As it stands, the government hasn’t taken the border control problem seriously as they have yet to complete the border fence or implement any serious immigration reform laws.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Chavez is also a huge part of the South American drug problem. “I think he’s the largest drug dealer…maybe in history,” he said. “In my role as AG, the majority of cocaine coming out of Colombia transfers through Venezuela,” and Chavez is, “…feeding the drug problem a big dose of fuel.”

The film trailer features security experts affirming that the US has underestimated the importance of Latin America and that Venezuela assists Iran with false identity documents that can be used for passports and Visas that will allow terrorists to enter America.

It also highlights Chavez’s increasingly powerful hand over press freedom and public choice in education. With his endless supply of money incoming from Venezuela’s oil production, Chavez holds the power. One Venezuelan citizen in the film said, “Everyday the control from the government is more and more strengthful (sic)…Many people are dying here, we are practically living a war.”

Venezuelan citizens attempted to boot Chavez out of office in an unsuccessful coup in 2004. In fact, their efforts backfired when a petition of names against Chavez surfaced and were later used as an “enemy list.” Chavez was originally elected on “false promises of improving the lives of average Venezuelans,” according to ASCF, and the people were duped.

Last week, Venezuelan State TV produced a report blasting the “Crisis in the Americas”, in effect, proving where the control over media communication comes from.

The documentary asserts a growing alliance between Venezuela with Iran and North Korea, as well as close conspiring with Cuba as part of the “axis of evil” that continues to define the face worldwide terrorism. It also points on the specific threat to North America and targeted allies such as Russia and China.

I asked Mack and McCollum about Chavez’s refusal to show up at this week’s UN conference in New York City since rumors had circulated that his decision resulted from being upstaged by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mack said that “rational people can’t figure out how he makes decisions” and he likely “didn’t want to be overshadowed” by the Ahmadinejad news flurry.

By Chavez’s hand, Venezuela has become a treacherous haven for terrorist groups to plot destruction against the West and her allies. With North America’s insecure borders terrorists can navigate from Venezuela through the faulty immigration systems with ease. “Crisis in the Americas” should have the effect of making Americans decidedly concerned — and willing to take action — against the threat posed by the growing power and influence of Hugo Chavez in our hemisphere.

*You can receive a complimentary copy of “Crisis in the Americas” if you join the American Security Council Foundation. The Foundation is currently seeking a broadcast partner.