To Fight Evil, US Will Risk Driving Up Oil

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Venezuela president-for-life and psycho Hugo Chavez has been giving aid to rebels in neighboring Columbia. According to The Wall Street Journal "A cache of controversial computer files closely tying Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez to communist rebels seeking to topple Colombia’s government appear to be authentic."

The US may now have to decide if it wants to sanction Venezuela as a terrorist state and cut or curtail trade relationships. Mr. Chavez has already said he loathes the US. He views America as imperialist and only interested in Latin America for its rich trove of commodities like oil.

If the US decides to give Chavez a hard time, he is likely to respond by cutting off oil supplies. That will not do him much good. His country supplies oil to refining concerns around the world. It is put into vast vats and tankers, eventually mixed with crude from other places. Even if he cuts exports which go directly to refineries in the US, he only delays the movement of product into America by a few weeks.

Chavez also has the acute problem that he is in power because he can write checks, both within his own country and to others in Latin America. He cannot afford to trump his own ace.

The US can do what it wants to with sanctions. The oil will keep coming.

Douglas A. McIntyre