Hugo Chavez: A history of tension with the US

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gives a book, 'The Open Veins of Latin America' of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano to US President Barack Obama during a multilateral meeting to begin during the Summit of the Americas at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Trinidad April 18, 2009.                    Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gives a book, ‘The Open Veins of Latin America’ of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano to US President Barack Obama during a multilateral meeting to begin during the Summit of the Americas at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Trinidad April 18, 2009.
Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

“Yesterday the devil was here. It smells of sulfur still,” Hugo Chavez said to the United Nations in 2006. This statement is one that best exemplifies Chavez’s strained relationship with the U.S. government.

 

Chavez opened his speech with a direct attack on the then-U.S. President George W. Bush, who had been on that same stage the day before.

 

As recently as just yesterday, the Venezuelan authorities expelled two U.S. militaries that allegedly participated in acts of conspiracy against the government.

 

Last month, the new Secretary of State in the United States, John Kerry, mentioned as one of his objectives to improve relations with

Venezuela.

 

On multiple occasions, Chavez expressed being against the U.S. government.

 

He associated with countries hostile to the United States such as Cuba and Iran.

 

Chavez said, on more than one occasion, that he had evidence that the United States had developed a plan to invade Venezuela. He also accused the United States of collaborating with the failed coup of 2002 and even spoke of a plot to assassinate him.

 

The United States continually denied the accusations of Chavez and his government.

 

Despite these tensions, the Venezuelan government has never stopped selling oil to the United States.

 

Big names in Hollywood did not hesitate to show their support for Chavez.

 

Filmmaker Oliver Stone portrayed him in the 2009 documentary “South of the border.” Since then, the director worked closely with the Bolivarian leader and recently said on that Chavez was improving the lives of Venezuelans, the same way President Barack Obama is doing in the United States.

 

Another famous American who showed public support for Chavez was actor Sean Penn, who said Chavez “is a fascinating man and did great things for 80 percent of the people of Venezuela.”


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