Strategies backfiring: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Even though oil hit $75 a barrel last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has begun to stumble in his efforts to buy elections for his friends in Latin America.
It is clear why Chávez is using his diatribe and his country's oil revenue to try to get allies elected throughout the hemisphere: His anti-American economic block is crumbling. Despite his objections, Peru and Colombia signed free trade agreements with the United States. That came after Central America and the Dominican Republic had done the same.
That was too much for Chávez to take. Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have socialist governments, but refuse to accept his leadership or his ego. Brazil encourages moderation in the region as it jockeys with Venezuela to see who can be the true leader for South America. Chile is governed by a socialist president, but continues to practice a free market economic policy.