Hugo Chavez's lunatic ravings


As we've written earlier, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is obsessed with assassination plots, and this weekend he's come up with some new ones.
On his Sunday talk show, called, "Hello, President!" he claimed the U.S. is planning to kill him, in a stream of bravado and anger. This time he seems to have gone off the deep end. Australia's has the details from his show here: 

"If they kill me, there will be a really guilty party on this planet whose name is the president of the United States, George Bush," Mr Chavez said ...

"If these perverse plans succeed, by the devil's hand ... forget about oil, Mr Bush."

Mr Chavez said he was convinced that Washington had been "sketching out the assassination plans"

Mr Chavez revealed a week ago that Cuban President Fidel Castro had warned him of a US assassination plot.

"Now, I am going to say it. Neither Fidel Castro nor I talk nonsense.

"If something happens to me, I blame the president of the United States," he said.

"I will not hide. I am going to be in the streets with you. I entrust myself to God, but I know that I have been condemned to die.

"Each second of my life I will spend in the struggle and God's will be done."

These look like the ravings of a paranoid megalomaniac. Which is pathetic and ridiculous coming from a national leader, but quite disturbing from a head of state that is our fourth—largest oil supplier.
It also signals an odd mood shift. Last week, Castro warned about assassination plots against Chavez, but Chavez's response at the time was to dismiss the Castro claim, saying he was confident he would live a long last week. His sudden revisiting of the assassination plot is enough to make one recall the charges of a Cuban defector three years ago, who said that Castro's men consider Chavez and many in his inner circle to be drug addicts.
But maybe there is a reason Chavez has glommed onto the assassination plot, using it as another means to threaten to cut off oil to the U.S. (Never mind the illogic of it, that if a disgruntled Venezuelan really does knock him off, he won't have much say in what becomes of Venezuela's oil.)
Chavez seems to be using the imagined plot to confirm he remains on a path of confrontation with the U.S. He also may be trying to manipulate the oil markets in an effort to drive up prices. Last week, Venezuela was attempting to force production cuts in OPEC in a bid to accomplish just that. 
Either way, the U.S. is wise to review its policy on Venezuela and whether it's a reliable oil supplier.  It also supports CIA chief Porter Goss's statement that Venezuela is one of the most potentially unstable country in the world.  Hugo Chavez is rapidly showing us why.
A.M. Mora y Leon 02 21 05