Los Angeles Times | 11/18/2009 12:00:00 AM
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.
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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