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Top 10 Ways Hugo Chavez Is Harming America

Hint: It’s not giving Obama a book…

1. The alliance the Venezuelan leader made with Iranian President Ahmadinejad has opened up Latin America to fundamentalist Iran. Chavez has provided Iran, so far, with entry to Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador. Iran is conducting active ideological indoctrination in these countries, disguising it as cultural interchange, and is openly promoting anti-U.S. political strategies.

2. Chavez’s promotion of Islamic terrorism through increasing links with Hizballah and Hamas is sending Islamic terrorists to the U.S. border. The Chavez alignment with Iran, and the increasing connections with terrorist Islamic groups, are allowing for the entry of Islamic terrorists into Venezuela, where they are provided with false Venezuelan documents and sent to the Mexico-U.S. border.

3. Cutting off links with the U.S. drug enforcement agencies and turning Venezuela into the main drug distribution center for Andean cocaine going to the U.S. and Europe complicates U.S. anti-drug efforts in Latin America. The volume of cocaine now moving through Venezuela, with the cooperation and complicity of the Venezuelan authorities, is on the order of 300 tons per year and increasing rapidly.

4. Promoting petroleum production cuts and price increases within OPEC is contributing to the global economic downturn. Chavez leads the group of hawks within OPEC who demand production cuts to pressure petroleum price increases and ask the organization to abandon the dollar as the currency of choice for their transactions.

5. His creation of a regional political and economic anti-U.S. bloc places increasing pressure on an already over-extended list of U.S. foreign policy priorities. Using oil as a political weapon, he exercises influence over the small states of the Caribbean, several Central American countries, and even some larger countries in the region. Chavez is close to acquiring political control of the Organization of American States.

6. A $6 billion acquisition of sophisticated weapons from Russia and China has altered the balance of military power in the region, increasing the probability of a major hemispheric crisis. Chavez has a very unstable personality. He would not think twice before promoting a crisis similar to the Cuban-Russian-U.S. missile confrontation of the 1960s that took the world to the brink of nuclear war.

7. His financial and political oxygenation of Cuba has extended the life of the Castro dictatorship. The amount of Venezuelan money illegally given by Chavez to the Castro regime is estimated at some $12 billion-$14 billion, an amount comparable to the financial help given to Cuba by the Soviet Union during the 1960s. This transference of resources has been possible through the supply of about 150 million barrels of oil to Castro’s Cuba during the last five years, plus cash transfers and the financing of housing and road projects on the island. This has extended the life of the Cuban regime for at least a decade.

8. His alliance with the Colombian terrorist army FARC represents a clear act of aggression against the political stability of the region. The well-documented link between Chavez and the drug-trafficking FARC, which is guilty of the death and kidnapping of more than 100,000 Latin Americans, would be basis enough for naming the Venezuelan regime as a supporter of terrorism. Such an alliance is in clear violation of the Declarations and Resolutions, as well as the Charter, of the Organization of American States, of which the U.S is a member country. FARC has acted directly against U.S. nationals and property during the last 15 years.

9. Chavez’s financing of the extreme left presidential candidacies of Ollanta Humala in Peru, Andres Lopez Obrador in Mexico, the Farabundo Marti Front in El Salvador and the Sandinista Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua is part of a global anti-U.S strategy. The fact that, so far, his success has been only modest does not detract from his openly stated main objective: the destruction of what he calls “the evil empire.”

10. His well-financed campaign of recruiting U.S. organizations and individuals to his cause, either through material rewards or ideological seduction is undermining U.S. society. Organizations that have a grudge against the government of the United States, ideological fellow-travelers, academic guns-for-hire and individuals who are easily seduced by despots and think poorly of U.S. democracy, now form a small but active group of pro-Chavez Americans who have, for all practical purposes, become Chavez’s agents in this country.

Written By

Gustavo Coronel is a petroleum geologist, author and public policy expert, who was elected to the Venezuelan Congress in 1998 before it was dissolved in 1999 following the election of Hugo Chavez as president. Coronel is currently designated as an "enemy" of the Chavez regime.

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