Global Politics

What a Chavez Re-Election Means for the US

Hugo Chavez has not had the best of relations with the US. He has aligned himself with American adversaries including Cuba, Syria and Iran. What does Chavez' next term mean for US-Venezuelan relations?

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Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue, a US-based think tank, tells Marco Werman that political tensions will continue.

However, Shifter warns that Venezuela's alliance with Iran will be the biggest worry for the United States. He says, "since Chavez came to power in 1999, he's been intent on curtailing the influence of the United States, the power of the United States and he has forged alliance both within Latin America and throughout the world with countries that are not terribly friendly with the United States."

Shifter says he doesn't see Chavez backing away but "I also don't know how much damage he's really been able to do. Even if he's been re-elected, he's obviously ill, he faces a stronger opposition, he's got terribly serious governance problems. And his capacity to follow through on some of these alliances and really cause a problem for the United States, I think is limited."

  • RTR38WRK1-e1349718680948.jpg

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves the national flag while celebrating from a balcony at Miraflores Palace in Caracas October 7, 2012. Venezuela's socialist President Chavez won re-election in Sunday's vote with 54 percent of the ballot to beat opposition challenger Henrique Capriles. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

    Credit:

    REUTERS

  • Venezuela_Chavez_Election_Win-e1349730588584.jpg

    President Hugo Chavez holds the sword used by former Venezuelan military leader Simon Bolivar while celebrating from a balcony at Miraflores Palace in Caracas October 7, 2012. Venezuela's socialist President Chavez won re-election in Sunday's vote with 54 percent of the ballot to beat opposition challenger Henrique Capriles. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

    Credit:

    REUTERS