With record inflation and skyrocketing crime rates,
He has already started.
Just before announcing Chavez's cancer-related death, Maduro - the Venezuelan government's candidate for elections expected within the next 30 days - suggested that
At the same time, he expelled two U.S. diplomats from
The Obama administration has turned the other cheek on Maduro's accusations. It has categorically denied having caused Chavez's death, and called the charge "absurd."
Interestingly, Maduro and the
On Wednesday, I asked Jacobson why she thinks Maduro made his claim earlier this week that the U.S. government had "inoculated" Chavez with cancer.
"We find it really unfortunate that at a time when we were, and are, seeking a more productive relationship with
Jacobson didn't want to speculate on Maduro's motives, but other well-placed
Maduro, a former bus driver who is very close to
"The harder days in U.S.-Venezuelan relations are not behind us, but ahead of us," says
"Maduro is shoring up political support within Chavismo," Meacham added. "His charges against
My opinion: I agree that Maduro is likely to raise his "anti-imperialist" rhetoric during the campaign, but I wouldn't be surprised if he resumes his amicable dialogue with the Obama administration afterward should he win the elections, as now seems likely.
Right now, Maduro is following Chavez's script of provoking confrontations and inventing domestic and foreign conspiracies, so as to present himself as the protector of the fatherland and cast his political rivals as alleged U.S. stooges. It's a script that Chavez followed for the past 14 years, and that worked well for him.
But Maduro is pretty much managed by remote control from
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