Venezuela is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, giving Chavez controls of 15% of US oil imports. Like Libya’s Qadaffi (before he was semi tamed), Chavez is using oil wealth to consolidate power at home and export revolution to his neighbours.
While Venezuela’s oil revenues subsidises food prices for the poor, it is also being used to buy weapons such as 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles and 30 attack helicopters from the Russians. There also have been discussions about a $4 billion purchase of MiG fighter jets.
Venezuelan oil also is sold at discount prices to Cuba, which in turn supplies doctors, teachers and military advisors to Venezuela. Chavez openly cites Fidel Castro as his model.
Colombia has accused Chavez of supporting the Narco-terrorist organization Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (which is at war with the Colombian government). Other neighbors have made similar accusations against Chavez.
Chavez has been a major player in the Sao Paolo Forums, which have been held all over Latin America since 1990 and their recent successor,the “Bolivarian Congress of the Peoples” which have been hosted by Chavez in Caracas.
The Forums were the brainchild of Marco Aurelio Garcia a Brazilian based Marxist. In 1980, Garcia founded PT, the Brazilian Worker’s Party, with Lula da Silva. Since then, he has been PT’s international affairs advisor. The PT gained power in Brazil in January 2003, under “Lula’s” leadership.
In 1990on Garcia called a meeting of all socialist groups from Latin America and the Caribbean. Representatives from 48 different communist parties and terrorist groups attended. This was the Sao Paolo Forum which Marco Aurelio Garcia led until 2002.
As the leader of the Sao Paulo Forum, Garcia controls the activities of Marxist guerrillas and subversives from Mexico to Argentina. Many members of the Sao Paulo Forum are openly terrorist. There is no doubt about Garcia’s ambition. To quote from an article he wrote on the “Communist Manifesto”, “The agenda is clear. If this new horizon which we search for is still called communism, it is time to re-constitute it.”
In 2002 Chavez was almost toppled by a huge strike in the petroleum industry. His friend Garcia saved his bacon by arranging a Brazilian tanker, the Amazon Explorer, to deliver to Chavez 520.000 barrels of gasoline from the Brazilian oil company Petrobras.
Chavez also had strong ties to Saddam Hussein in Iraq and personally visited the dictator in Baghdad. After Chavez’s first visit, Castro then sent his right-hand man, Rodrigo Alvarez Cambras, to Iraq for discussions with Saddam. It is believed that Saddam Hussein, Castro and Chavez worked together on bio-weapons projects. Hussein is out of the picture, but there are fears that Brazil’s president “Lula” and Marco Aurelio Garcia want to restart Brazil’s abandoned nuclear weapons programme.
In the near future, the US is facing the possibility of a nuclear armed Brazil, an oil rich Venezuela and a continent infested with powerful communist parties and terrorist groups, all led by Fidel Castro. This will be a threat to US interests far greater than anything Saddam Hussein was ever capable of.