Hugo Chavez seems to believe the clichéd proverb: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. For years there have been underreported accounts of Chavez’s collabroation with Iran’s “secret” nuclear program. Venezuela has the world’s largest uranium deposits in the mountains where Mt. Roraima, Angel Falls and the exotic tepui can be found. There were for many years, planes flying between Caracas and Tehran, even though there are little if any passengers travelling that route. Ahmadinejad and Chavez signed a document a few years ago to formalize the cooperation of Venezuela and Iran in the development of their “peaceful nuclear energy”.
This article in Foreign Policy gives a few more details in this ongoing story. For over a decade, Chavez has been dedicated to the decline of the “evil empire” of the United States. But, the US has continued George W. Bush’s policy of ignoring Chavez’s antics. While this has the wisdom of robbing them of their power, the massive consequence is that the US has renounced most of it’s influence over Latin America. It seems the US state department needs to change their policy or risk having a repeat of the Cuban missile crisis.