From Insult to Injury

From the January 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez seeks to exploit what little power he has in order to hurt the American government. He is infamous for his name-calling and insults; lately, however, his moves have really started to sting.

At September’s end, Chavez announced that Venezuela had moved its central bank foreign reserves out of the United States—this just as America began to recover from the double-fisted attack of Katrina and Rita. All in all, he sold $20 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds and moved it to Europe.

Some of that money may not be in Europe long, but one thing is certain: It will not be returning to the U.S. At some point, Washington might not be able to rely on 1.5 million barrels a day of Venezuelan oil either.

A Republican senator from Florida, Mel Martinez, has warned that if the U.S. doesn’t take a more comprehensive, active approach in the region, Latin America risks sliding into a “populist Chavismo, anti-American sentiment” (Miami Herald, Oct. 1, 2005).

President Chavez has also, according to the Washington Post, “bashed the United States on the al Jazeera television network and traveled to Libya to receive an award from Moammar Qadhafi” (March 15, 2005). He has openly supported Iran’s nuclear program, saying, “Faced with the threat of the U.S. government against our brother people in Iran, count on us for all our support” (ibid.). He has made a point of putting his friendship with Cuban President Fidel Castro in the public eye. In other words, if a country is an enemy of America, it is a friend of Hugo Chavez.

Now, when Chavez delivers his fiercest blow to date by selling off Venezuela’s U.S. Treasury bonds, he turns to Europe. To long-time readers of the Trumpet, this should come as no surprise, as we have been warning that Latin American resources would ultimately go to Europe—not the U.S.—for 10 years.

Decades earlier, in May 1962, Herbert Armstrong’s Plain Truth magazine declared, “[T]he United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe and Latin America, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce.” We are seeing that prediction realized today, and Hugo Chavez is a major driving force behind it. Bible prophecy warns us that Latin America will not be an ally of the U.S. for long.