Thursday, December 30, 2010
While George W. Bush was busy persuading American lawmakers to support the administration’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela arrived at Beijing for a three-day visit (before going Russia, and heading to Belarus, France, and Portugal) in last fall. In return, the Chinese promised to launch the VENESAT-1 satellite (also known as the Simon Bolivar after the Venezuelan-born South American independence hero) on November 1, 2008, according to BBC News. Since the Russian-U.S. relationship is tense as the result of the Georgia issue, Russia deployed two strategic bombers to Venezuela in early September and dispatched a naval squadron on September 22, 2008 to hold joint maneuvers with Venezuela’s navy. On February 15, 2009, Hugo Chavez won a referendum to eliminate term limits. Will Chavez stay in power for another ten years? Will the “Cuba missile crisis” play out again? Can Obama talk to Chavez very soon?