Venezuela: source of trouble in South America
While Venezuela is one of many South American countries to have won liberation from Spain on July 5th, 1811, it has a relatively new governmental system that was enacted in 1999. The country depends on rich oil production for its economy. Its socialist President has nationalized private business so the people are completely dependent on government.
Human trafficking, prostitution and illicit drugs are commonplace.
Hugo Chavez, the President, is a strong man who promotes rebels in neighboring countries such as Columbia.
Why should the US care? Venezuela is in our hemisphere and is in the global supply chain for energy production. We are working with Columbia as an ally to combat illicit drugs and Venezuela is interfering.
Venezuela is an enemy of the USA, not because it is a socialist economy, but because the President and government undermine individual freedom and liberty. The President and government is an increasing menace to achieving stability in South America.
“Colombia-Venezuela dispute unresolved in meeting of South American leaders
By Juan Forero
Saturday, July 31, 2010
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -- After the posturing and hysterics, an emergency meeting and competing press briefings, South American leaders were unable to resolve a crisis that began when the Colombian government accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez of aiding and abetting Colombian guerrillas.
"A package of lies and manipulations with which to attack our country," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro said after diplomats from across the continent gathered in Ecuador on Thursday.
Their inability to find common ground between Colombia, a close U.S. ally, and Chávez's socialist administration leaves relations between the two Andean neighbors in tatters in the waning days of Colombian President Álvaro Uribe's eight-year presidency.
The challenge for incoming president Juan Manuel Santos, as he prepares for his Aug. 7 inauguration, is to repair Colombia's ties to a leader suspicious of its motivations and links to Washington while somehow prodding Venezuela to reverse what Colombian authorities consider wholehearted support for two rebel groups.
As defense minister for three years until 2009, Santos engineered decisive blows against the most potent of the two rebel groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and his office released reams of documents that showed close links between rebel commanders and Chávez's closest associates.
But since his election in May, Santos has stressed the need to patch up relations with Chávez, who last year cut commercial ties in a dispute over the U.S. military's presence in Colombia.”