Times have changed in U.S.-Venezuela relations
January 8, 2008, by Justin Delacour - Latin America News Review
To get an idea of why the U.S. foreign policy establishment despises the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez, it helps to understand the geopolitical role that U.S. national security managers had in mind for Venezuela prior to Chavez's rise.
In the lead-up to the first Gulf War of 1991, the elder President Bush praised the Venezuelan government of Carlos Andrés Pérez for deciding to increase its oil production in the face of an oil cutoff from Iraq and Kuwait.
On December 8, 1990, ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings aired a telling quote from Melvin Conant, a leading analyst of the geopolitics of energy:
"We can change the geopolitics of oil by sending a signal to the Middle East that in the great oil reserves of Venezuela there are simply enormous sources of oil which could significantly reduce our own dependence upon the Middle East."
Of course, the rise of Chavez would throw a wrench in the plans of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
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