Ideological allies of Mr. Chavez's who had been expected to win the presidencies in Mexico and Peru have plummeted in polls, as voters take offense at the Venezuelan leader's public campaigning as an insult to their respective nations' independence and sovereignty.Well, I know I resent him meddling in US affairs...
Moreover, the backlash is threatening to spread to other nations, including Venezuela, and Mr. Chavez's checkbook diplomacy is adding to suspicions of a man who fashions himself as a 21st-century version of South America's liberator, Simon Bolivar.
"The real size of the Venezuelan government is three feet high -- the size of a barrel of oil," said Diego E. Arria, former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations.
Mr. Chavez has spent between $18 billion and $25 billion on foreign projects since taking power in 1999 -- on everything from paying off Argentina's debt to the International Monetary Fund to underwriting a popular samba festival in Brazil.
In recent weeks, Mr. Chavez's spending and his use of the bully pulpit to back leftist political candidates in other Latin American nations has caused diplomatic spats with Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico, all of whom accuse the Venezuelan of meddling in their affairs.
Landing the Big One
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Hugo Chavez finds his efforts to buy other countries governments has a high price and maybe a small payoff as examined here: