Miércoles, 7 de diciembre de 2016

| 2009/11/18 00:00

Chavez's threats of war against Colombia should raise alarm bells

Nov 18--Venezuela's leader is not making empty threats, says a consultant: A border skirmish, if not war, would solidify Chavez's support base amid rising inflation, rampant crime and a stagnant economy.

Chavez's threats of war against Colombia should raise alarm bells

Reacting to a deal that gives the Pentagon use of seven bases in Colombia for flights to combat drug trafficking and insurgency, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said this month that his country should prepare for war with its neighbor. It was only the latest belligerent statement directed at his Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Uribe.

Should Chavez be taken seriously? Yes, says Maruja Tarre, former international relations professor with a degree from Harvard Kennedy School and now a Caracas-based consultant to multinational firms.

With his revolution losing popularity amid rising inflation, rampant crime, a stagnant economy, and frequent water shortages and power outages, Chavez needs a galvanizing event, she says. A border skirmish, if not a full-fledged war, would solidify his support base ahead of next year's legislative elections and give his Bolivarian Revolution the heroic episode that it lacks.
 
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