Impact of Chavez death on US relationship with Venezuela
Amb. John Bolton weighs in
- Duration 5:33
- Date Mar 6, 2013
Amb. John Bolton weighs in
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Receives thousands taking to the streets Venezuela over the death of 58 year old President Hugo Chavez.
As a country observes a seven day mourning period -- of the questions were asking today is what does this mean for the United States.
And our relationship with Venezuela also Venezuela as allies going forward.
Consider some of their recent controversial moves like this Syria -- Venezuelan oil tanker has made at least three ports of call there since December of 2011 helping president aside.
-- international sanctions China has -- at the Chavez government with 32 billion dollars in loans over the last several years.
An exchange for a steady supply of oil.
At negotiated prices you can read that as lower than market value also are -- has used some thirty billion dollars in so called economic ventures in Venezuela.
As a means to allegedly launder money.
And evade sanctions Yasser can't forget Russia an ally of shot -- shot as -- purchase more than four million dollars and arms from that country since 2005.
And -- -- Cuba shot -- provided this key ally with two thirds of its oil.
Worth roughly five billion dollars a year so those -- the long list of our eyes and -- big question what happens now.
John Bolton is with us -- US ambassador to the U ad -- so Fox News contributor.
Thin -- will get to some of those those -- -- in just a moment but on a very basic level.
What day is the death of Hugo Chavez really mean for the average American.
Well I think it depends in large part on what happens in Venezuela over the coming months and years but the prospect is with Chavez gone.
That US relations with Venezuela can improve that the situation in the Western Hemisphere.
We'll get much better that the risks and dangers posed by the Castro Brothers in Cuba will diminish.
And that Russia and Iran in particular will be and in very difficult positions.
Given the loss of Venezuela as an ally now as -- say a lot depends on how this plays out in Venezuela first and Chavez.
Has it set up with an election coming in just thirty days to try and put his hand picked successor.
I in on a more permanent basis but I don't think the long term without Chavez that -- these -- -- Can succeed and and so the real question is how -- it begins to collapse.
Let's talk a little bit about what we should do in this scenario is it inherently quote unquote good France.
That Hugo Chavez is no longer a leader in Venezuela or do we need to take some sort of action.
To make sure we take advantage of a shift in a country that's been friends of our Anthony's.
Well I think there's a lot of potential that we just have to wait and see how it plays at number one the Chavez movement itself is not monolithic and while he's tapped his vice president.
Nicholas the bureau to succeeding there's no guarantee that that everybody else in the movement will happily go along with that.
On the other hand the opposition is fragmented too so I think that day in the near term but let's say 31 days until after the election.
We're probably best advised by staying hands off and hoping.
That the that the opposition can hold together and prevail if they don't then I think we'll have to look at.
Ways to split the Chavez movement from the outside they're going to be a lot of venezuelans who in a factor in exile now since Chavez has been in power -- try and go back and and I think it's just one of the reasons why the dynamic.
Favors the collapse of the Chavez legacy sooner rather than later.
-- this is potentially so bad.
For a country like Iran.
Well in -- case of Iran you know you had one indication of their money laundering activities but the the arriving in embassy in Caracas is the largest in the world they're doing even more.
In -- in Venezuela to avoid UN.
US and European sanctions than then obviously we know on -- a public basis.
But number two Venezuela has the second largest supply of uranium in the world after Canada so for country like Iran that's extremely.
Important and and -- Ryan's had used Venezuela as a base to help support.
Terrorist activities in this hemisphere and around the world that with has a lot others.
Coming in and out the country so if all of this is denied -- -- it's not that they might not be able to find.
That's sort of help elsewhere but it's a huge loss of -- base of operations potentially here in the Western Hemisphere.
Interesting to see that loss -- seen the volatility in Syria and being that Iran many point -- as our number one.
You know national security threat they can be debatable but many a look at -- that way.
Ambassador just quickly on Iran here's some of their biggest partners at a time again and I have great -- What kind of opportunity does that give us with -- -- And -- receipt of a nuclear weapon.
Well this is certainly the last time to remove economic sanction surgery that -- -- the sanctions as.
We in the Europeans are proposing to them when the pressure is on.
But you know the erotic ads are very determined especially in their support for international terrorism -- their nuclear weapons program and I don't think the sanctions have had the bite they should have already were -- very difficult.
-- here even with the Asad regime in Syria under pressure and Chavez dying in Venezuela.
You wonder some of that of people actually motivates the Iranian regime war.
Rather then that deters that are or or it disrupts it anyway ambassador great to see you as always thank you.
Thank you again.