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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Recovery Operations Continue in Texas, Mexico After Severe Weather

Houston got as much as 25 centimeters of rainfall in some areas Monday night into Tuesday
More

Colombia's FARC Says End of Ceasefire a 'Step Back' in Peace Talks

Speaking from Havana, Cuba, where talks have been taking place for two and a half years, FARC Marxist leadership says peace would be unattainable if offensives intensify
More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact
More

Relatives Doubt 42 Men Died in Mexico Ranch Shootout

The lopsided death toll and photographs from the scene in which bodies appeared to have been moved have raised questions
More

Pope Beatifies Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop

Hundreds of thousands of worshippers converge on Salvadoran capital to witness papal declaration for late Oscar Romero - now one step from Roman Catholic sainthood
More

Scores Killed in Western Mexico Gunfight

Officials say almost every person killed in Michoacan state shootout was a suspected gang member
More