Hugo Chavez bought these Russian jets which now stream across the Venezuelan skyline, as well as an air defense system to ward off what Chavez said is a possible invasion from the US. Pretty much everything Chavez says is meant to challenge the US and offer an alternative leader in Latin America. But Chavez has also said he wants to give the next US leader a peace offering and says he hopes relations between the two countries will improve after Bush leaves office. But McCain's office says McCain considers Chavez to be a thug and won't speak with him, and Obama hasn't been much friendlier. This Venezuelan intellectual says no matter who wins the election, a new approach to Latin America is needed. He says the US has disengaged itself from Latin America since entering Iraq, allowing Chavez to fill the vacuum. Others agree on the need for a new US approach including this anti-Chavez leader. It's an open question as to whether the US truly wants good relations with Chavez, or vice versa, and this analyst doubts that Venezuela wants it. He thinks Chavez is just trying to score more points domestically. Chavez as usual is trying to turn the tables on his critics.

Related Stories