News / Americas

Venezuela-US Relations Unlikely to Change After Chavez

Venezuela-US Relations Unlikely to Change After Chavezi
X
March 07, 2013 12:02 PM
The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is raising questions about what happens next in Venezuela, both internally and with its relations to other nations, including the United States. As VOA's Bill Rodgers reports, analysts do not expect the tense relationship between Washington and Caracas to change soon.
Bill Rodgers
The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is raising questions about what happens next in Venezuela, both internally and with its relations to other nations, including the United States.  Analysts do not expect the tense relationship between Washington and Caracas to change soon.

The death of President Chavez is being mourned by his supporters, while many inside and outside Venezuela wonder what the future holds.  

A commanding and charismatic figure in life, Chavez played an outsized role on the world stage - largely by challenging the United States and what he saw as Washington's economic and political dominance of Latin America.   

"He was a guy about power, you can’t really understand Chavez, the way he operated, what he did, what he couldn’t do, unless you understand his tremendous appetite for power," explained Michael Shifter, head of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington. "And that meant power within Venezuela, power within Latin America and that meant challenging and defying the superpower."

He repeatedly accused the United States of undermining his socialist revolution.  A failed coup attempt in 2002 tacitly supported by the Bush administration further antagonized the Venezuelan leader and his supporters.

This antagonism is unlikely to change soon.  

At a meeting convened the day Chavez died, Vice President Nicolas Maduro accused Washington of plotting to undermine Venezuela and announced the expulsion of two American diplomats.  

That does not bode well for future relations, says Carl Meacham of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"It is sort of sticking to the playbook that Chavismo has used in the past: always blame the United States or blame some foreign entity to distract them from problems that they have going on in Venezuela," he said.

Despite this, Venezuela is a major supplier of petroleum to the United States - and even provides free heating oil to poor Americans through a non-profit group.

American University professor Philip Brenner says this shows that relations between the two countries would be better if Washington recognizes certain realities.

"I think the important thing to remember about Venezuela is that they have never even threatened to cut off our oil.  Venezuela has done nothing to actually harm U.S. interests except to challenge U.S. dominance," Brenner noted.

Vice President Maduro, a former foreign minister and union leader, is expected to govern Venezuela for now and could be more pragmatic in his dealings with Washington, according to Michael Shifter.

"I think what we can expect from Maduro is a very tough stand, ideological stand, confrontational stand in public but behind the scenes I would imagine he would try to work things out, try to at least establish channels of communication at least, including with the United States," added Shifter.

Meanwhile, Maduro's accusations have been rejected by U.S. officials who have limited their comments to possible areas of cooperation such as counternarcotics and energy in the post-Chavez era.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sk8sonh2o from: USA
March 07, 2013 10:49 AM
Chavez infuriated US oil companies by nationalizing the petroleum industry on behalf of the citizens of Venezuela. It is their oil - at least it is now!
Here in the USA, we give away oil and mineral leases for $5 an acre, without royalties; the leases are resold for much more, the resources plundered, and the environment poisoned. Is that fair to our citizens, our children, our stewardship of the land and its wealth?

by: John from: canada
March 07, 2013 9:37 AM
Its payback time for Venezuela having been one of very few states that recognized the Georgian break-away region of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2009, so besides naming Russian mountain peaks after Chavez and giving Venezuela multi-billion dollar loans to buy Russian tanks, SAMs and other weapons, Putinist Russia echoes the great friendship between Chavez and Putin by promoting the Yanqui-assassination theory on Russia Today’s media in Spanish.


by: jason from: canada
March 07, 2013 9:03 AM
Now the true problem begins. Chavez has had such close ties with Cuba that Cuba has infiltrated every part of Venezuela’s Government, including its Military. Cuba has no intention in giving up its survival even if it means a civil war in Venezuela. The aid received from Venezuela is in the order of about 100,000 barrels of petroleum per day. Cuba is giving in return for this bonanza of petroleum, doctors and “advisors” in the form of 30,000 Cubans – including disciplined mobile hit squads – roaming the streets and monitoring the movements of every Venezuelan military officer. Basically Chavez has committed Treason to his country, giving away its sovereignty to the Castro brothers.

Every leftist I read in the news says they loved Chavez and that better him than American interests. I say is it better to take hard earned money from the first world and have it funneled back to the Castro’s? (For those that don’t understand this statement, we buy oil from Venezuela and Cuba receives the money. Get it now?)The Venezuelan masses do not see the truth of what is happening; they are a happy people living day to day, to naive to see the inner working of the Cuban propaganda machine. Quite plainly, the Cuban regime traded Chavez’s life for its own survival – knowing that its bankrupt economy depends on Venezuelan generosity.

Unfortunately, the Cubans are not done administering to Venezuela – putting that country’s constitution under the knife while turning Chavez into a martyr for the poor. The Cubans have pulled of the greatest criminal operation of all time; they invaded a nation without firing a single shot. Hopefully the Venezuelan military will not put up with this outright treason and decide to take back Venezuela once and for all.
In Response

by: Jose M from: canada
March 07, 2013 10:11 AM
Jason, Thanks for sharing your opinion to the world. I respect your view, however you are showing just the bad side. I agree it is not right "to take hard earned money from the first world and have it funneled back to the Castro's " but I would add to your statement: ...to the Castro and also some good projects! like this one: "At current prices, Venezuela sells oil to Haiti through PetroCaribe at 40% of the market price, with the remaining 60% paid over 25 years at an interest rate of 1%."

Do you think it is fair that over the past 100 years and more the "first world" have looted Latin America without mercy? Because all Latin Americans are too naive to see the truth, the first world does not care about poverty at all. Please, don't take me wrong, I would like to see the Castro being judged by all the people that suffered their tyranny (including me) but I do recognize the facts. In the 90's I was living through constants blackouts in Cuba, after Chavez we saw the LIGHT again! That is reality! He did bad things but also good ones for those one that were always in forgetfulness.

Poor people do not care who get richer as long as they don't get poorest. Get it now? Then it will come the time when those one that were the poorest at one time will raise up and ask for more, like it is happening in Cuba now, but one step at a time ;) One last comment, Venezuela has to get rid of all the Cubans infiltrated in the government and gain their sovereignty back, but please not to sell their sovereignty back again to the US. It is insane that Venezuela is not one of the "first world" countries with all those natural resources they have.

Have a good day.

Power to the people!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Better Lives Sought for Larimar Miners in Dominican Republic

Blue-green stone's existence on Caribbean island seen as both a boon and a curse for those looking for jobs in impoverished southwestern mountains
More

Antibiotic Resistance Found in Isolated Amazonian Tribe

Yanomami villagers in Venezuela offer rare chance to see what microbes likely shared our bodies before civilizations evolved
More

Brazil's Olympic Host Rio Has Phones Cut Due to Unpaid Bills

Brazilian telecoms firm Oi SA says it cut Internet and telephone lines after state government racked up debt of $55.7 million in unpaid bills
More

Pope Considering Cuba Stop During US Trip but No Decision

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit New York, Philadelphia and Washington in the last week of September
More

India and Canada Look Forward to Deeper Ties

Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Canada in 42 years
More

Colombian Rebels Blame Government for War's Rising Death Toll

But FARC rebels declined to say whether they had broken their own ceasefire with recent attack that killed 11 government soldiers
More