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Delusions of Grandeur

Friday, October 21, 2005, 15:16 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez has laid down the gauntlet: he’s ready for a U.S invasion, and his country will prevail, dammit!

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that his government is preparing for a possible U.S. invasion, and he warned that such "aggression" would send gasoline prices in the United States soaring.

His tough talk seems motivated by at least a hint of paranoia:

Chavez reiterated longtime claims that the United States finances his opponents, seeks his ouster and sabotages efforts to move his country forward.

[ . . . ]

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. radio aired earlier Thursday, Chavez said he had evidence to prove the U.S. government was planning an invasion.

Chavez said he believed the reason Washington was plotting an invasion was to take control of Venezuela’s oil fields.

He must have gotten that idea from the U.S.’s seizure of Iraq’s oil fields—which, by the way, hasn’t happened. But that hasn’t stopped Iraq War opponents from continuing to cite oil as the reason for the 2003 invasion, so why shouldn’t Chávez join in the fantasy?

Chávez is playing dress-up in the style of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, who has in the past tried to act like a superpower by demanding direct bilateral negotiations with the Washington. Kim and Chávez have in common a desire to be "big", and the way to be big in the 21st century is to be a peer of the United States. But like a child wearing Dad’s old suit or shuffling along in Mom’s high heels, they merely look ridiculous.

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