Pentagon Gets Serious About Chavez 'Revolution'

After a year of triumph for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and setbacks in Latin America for Washington, the Pentagon's gloves are off. According to this article from Venezuela's El Universal, while Chavez may have long anticipated a Pentagon reaction to his activity, his Achilles heel may be right under his nose: the corruption of his own public officials.

By Alberto Garrido

Translated By Paula Paula van de Werken

January 17, 2006

Original Article (Spanish)    

President Hugo Chavez Delivers Venezuela's State of the Union Speech
at the National Assembly in Caracus Last Week, Jan. 13 (above, below);

RealVideo[NEWS SLIDE SHOW: President Hugo Chavez].

Chavez had a 2005 full of indisputable achievements for his revolutionary project. On one hand, the revolutionary Venezuela-Cuba "Axis" transformed itself into the energetic Venezuela-Cuba-Bolivia triangle, thanks to the ascent of Evo Morales to the Presidency of the Republic of Bolivia.

On the other, his leadership of the Latin-American voting "Left" and of the men and women of the streets was strengthened at the Summit Meeting of The People at Mar del Plata, while the feverish search for the "Axis of Strategic Liberation" for the South (Caracas-Buenos Aires-Sao Paolo) finally found a place to drop its anchor in the Casa Rosada [the Rose House, Argentina's Presidential Palace], with Argentine President Kirchner flaunting nationalist, anti-American attitudes with the financial help of Chavez, as the weakened [Brazilian President] Lula da Silva began to resign himself to receiving the help of his revolutionary neighbor [Chavez], convinced that he will either have to turn toward the Left or end up without even floor space on which to further his aspirations to be re-elected as President.

As for the global multipolar issue, Chavez has built bonds with Iran, becoming the only public supporter of the government of [Iran President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in his intention to push his nuclear plans toward the crucial phase of enriching uranium. (Russia and China are acting with more discretion.)

Playing on the tremendous fear of an oil crisis on the part governments of the so-called developed world, Chavez defiantly invited Ahmadinejad to visit Venezuela sometime over the next few months. (In case of military aggression against Iran, the strategic Iran-Venezuela alliance could take 7 million barrels of crude oil out of the market daily.)

But 2006 has brought its first reactions.

Washington's decision to prohibit the governments of Spain and Brazil from selling military aircraft containing American technology to Venezuela, and the Pentagon's decision to exclude Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, from participating in the development of a new battlefield surveillance system (the Aerial Common Sensor ACS) for the ERJ-45 spy plane, shows that Washington has shifted from the terrain of diplomatic requests to the dangerous field of military [Pentagon] decision-making.

Pentagon Plays Hardball By Restricting
Latin America Participation in The ACS.

What's more, the Pentagon's position [stopping the sale of war materials to Venezuela] confirms information given out by Washington Post military analyst William M. Arkin, that Venezuela looms as part of a "potential military threat" in a new "Axis of Evil" made up of Iran, China, Syria and North Korea. (Said to be part of the Pentagon's unfinished Quadrennial Defense Review, 2005") [RealVideoArkin's Comments].

But the American reaction was anticipated as part of the backdrop of conflict for The Revolution.

For this reason, Chavez warned on his TV and Radio show Hello, Mr. President, that the expected Pentagon reaction had just begun.

But what Chavez didn't expect was that an unpredictable black hole would begin opening in his own house, that is, the tragedy of the viaduct in La Guaira, which could simply be the beginning of a landslide of protest against the incompetence and callousness of some of his public officials. [RealVideoLa Guaira Viaduct].

The La Guiara Viaduct, Part of a Key Road Linking Caracus to the Nation's Ports and Nearest
International Airport, May Be Irreperably Damaged, Jan. 5. [RealVideoLa Guaira Viaduct]

Chavez himself said it: inefficiency, corruption and bureaucracy are the misfortune of his government. And these are not problems of management or of opposition. They are problems of The Revolution.

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