Hugo Chavez: A Threat to the Western Hemisphere

Chavez, a self-proclaimed Communist, is determined to emulate his mentor, Fidel Castro, through fear and manipulation of the Venezuelan people.  We recently saw him move to nationalize key sectors of Venezuela's economy and suppress free speech by shutting down one of the country's biggest networks.  And last week, Chavez threatened to kick U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield out of Venezuela after Brownfield said the nationalization of Venezuela's largest telephone company must be transparent.  Clearly, these are the actions of a man who is intent upon forcing his people to live in a socialist state like that of Cuba.

If Chavez boots Ambassador Brownfield from the country, the world will once and for all know Chavez's true intentions: an end to diplomatic relations with the United States and the start of a new era of conflict and isolation that will change the Western Hemisphere.

Chavez is a threat to the freedom, security and prosperity of the Venezuelan people and all of the Western Hemisphere.  The U.S. cannot let his words and actions go unnoticed.  The Bush Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress must take real action against this growing threat.

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