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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Builds Political Base in U.S. What For?

From Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

07.02.06 | Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez is building a political base in the United States to help deflect criticism of his ambitious plan to unite Latin America in a socialist bloc, according to a report released today by a Bellevue, Washington-based think tank, the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

The report, Autocrats and Activists, says the Chavez ticket to U.S. citizen support is a $10 million handout of Venezuelan heating oil for the poor this winter in heavily Democratic states, including Massachusetts and New York.

But, the report warns, don’t take Autocrats and Activists into Venezuela, because criticizing the President there is a crime with a 40 month prison sentence.

CITGO, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company located in the U.S., is handing out deep-discount heating oil for distribution by blue state charities as a way to ingratiate Hugo Chavez with poor Americans who have used up their own government heating benefits.

Autocrats and Activists reveals that it’s part of an ongoing multi-million-dollar effort by Venezuela to court American public opinion, using high-powered Washington, D.C. lobbyists and public relations firms to build an of pro-Chavez activist groups in the U.S.

Behind it all is Chavez’s so-called “Bolivarian Revolution,” named after South America’s 19th Century liberator, Simon Bolivar. The Chavez revolution, inspired by his idol Che Guevara, is the hard-left socialist movement that swept him into power in 1998’s presidential election.

Chavez has formed a tight oil-fed alliance with Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro, and is forming similar oil-fed bonds with the leftist leaders of Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay. The goal is to create what Chavez calls “The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas,” to unite all of Latin America politically, economically and militarily in an anti-U.S. socialist bloc. That could be a critical problem for the U.S.

Read Autocrats and Activists to see why Chavez wants a political base in the U.S.: to have a reliable hard-core activist outcry at anything the U.S. does to promote free trade, free enterprise, or otherwise thwart the Chavez Bolivarian Revolution. Online at www.cdfe.org/autocrats.pdf



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