Venezuela turns to fomenting instability in Chile and Brazil?

Waaaay back around 2001 or 2002, when Hugo Chávez was still a rising autocrat in Venezuela, I was at a conference on Latin America's outlook in New York, shortly before I made my first trip to Argentina.

The New York conference was held in a classy wood-paneled room, featuring prominent Latin American and Latin American–focused bankers and it addressed a Wall Street audience.

Several leading lights in finance were there, but one stood out: a former Venezuelan central banker named Ruth Krivoy, who scared the heck out of the audience by warning that Venezuela's mission under its current regime would eventually be to threaten and destabilize all of Latin America, particularly its best run states.  A steel-nerved emerging-markets hedge fund manager I knew later told me it scared even him.

Today, what she forecast may now be coming to pass.  Venezuela, a failed state ruined by socialism, now has its name coming up in exactly this context.

Here are the stories of instability, first from the New York Times:

On Thursday, the President Sebastián Piñera [sic] of Chile boasted that his country was an oasis of stability in Latin America. "We are ready to do everything to not fall into populism, into demagoguery," he said in an interview published in The Financial Times.

The next day, protesters attacked factories, torched subway stations and looted supermarkets in Chile's worst upheaval in decades, eventually forcing Mr. Piñera to deploy troops to the streets. By Wednesday, at least 15 people were dead, and a clearly rattled Mr. Piñera had spoken of "war against a powerful and implacable enemy."

And, from the Telegraph of London:

Brazil has deployed 5,000 troops to its beaches amid mounting fury at the government's inaction over the worst oil spill in the country's history.

The environmental catastrophe began in early September when large quantities of oil inexplicably washed ashore.

The mysterious spill has continued and has now touched more than 1,000 miles of Brazil's coast, polluting some of the country's most picturesque beaches and destroying local marine life.

Now public anger is rising over the Brazilian government's failure to stem the flow - or indeed establish the oil's source. In response, local officials have resorted to urging volunteers to aid the cleanup mission.

In both cases, Venezuela's name has come up across the internet and Twitter.  In Chile's case, the argument is that Venezuela is destabilizing Chile through Chile's well established fringe Marxist agitators.  In Brazil's case, the accusation is that there was some kind of oil-dumping sabotage that hit Brazil's shores.

And coincidence of coincidences, both countries being hit by unrest are led by conservative leaders who have done their darnedest diplomatically to check the regime of Nicolás Maduro.  They've also both been hit by floods of fleeing Venezuelan refugees and taken some steps to halt it.

Now they're both experiencing unrest, and it's got Venezuela's name on it.

I have not looked at this closely yet, but it positively reeks of Chavista aggression, done in that sneaky way of Marxist activists.  I've criticized these Latin democracies for not sending in Marines of their own and hosing the hellhole out.

Now the argument for it grows strong, really strong.  If it's as true as it looks, the Venezuelan regime is trying to kill them.  Time to strike back, hard, and absolutely kill it off.

Image credit: Prensa Presidencial via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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