Hugo Chavez: permanent Venezuelan president, permanent U.S. pest
February 17, 2009
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez made a big step over the weekend in permanently cementing his power over his oil rich country. The controversial leader, who has consistently been at odds with the United States, recently won a referendum that will end presidential term limits. A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss what this means for the Obama administration and Latin America is:
David Samuels, University of Minnesota political science professor
This is not a good step for U.S. and Latin American relations. Chavez is a demagogue, even if he has done some good, says Samuels. But he's more interested in tweaking Uncle Sam's nose than pursuing quiet, constructive diplomacy. Within the region, the precedent could encourage other reelection laws on eliminating term limits and put into question long sought after democratic policies. Samuels is an expert in Latin American politics.
To interview this expert, contact the University News Service, (612) 624-5551.