Sunday, July 22, 2012

Home and Away: Two Portraits of Venezuela

President Obama and Mitt Romney have been recently sparring over the relevance of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela on the international stage.
President Obama argues that Chavez has been marginalized and his influence in waning. Romney meanwhile, cites Chavez’s friendship with Iran and his ties to terrorist and criminal groups such as Hezbollah as reason to view Chavez as a threat.
While Obama and Romney haggle over whether Chavez is a threat to national security, the domestic situation in Venezuela may be instructive.
The murder rate in Venezuela is truly staggering. Through the first six month of 2012, 9,510 murders took place, an average of 52 murders per day.
That is four times higher than Mexico.
Venezuelans and their neighbors are worried about the constant threat of violence and weapons spilling across the border.
Chavez can’t even secure his own people and we’re supposed to think he’s a national security threat? Chavez should worry about his own political survival.

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