We lost, now please retreat

Castro and Chavez have called again for the abandonment of the US air base in Palmerola, as “punishment” of Honduras. We have argued in previous posts that the primary purpose of the Venezuelan virtual offensive against Honduras was the removal of the US military strong point. This air base is an important monitoring station of drug traffic and one of two important military presences the US enjoys in Latin America (the base in Ecuador will not have its lease renewed by Correa, a Chavez ally, and will probably relocate to Colombia). Some have characterized Palmerola as a permanent aircraft carrier.

Despite having lost their initial bid for initiating a revolution against the political institutions in Honduras, Castro and Chavez are keeping their eye on the prize. They believe they have a reasonable chance of compelling some retreat out of Obama, given his apologetics and concessions with respect to Russia and Iran.

Although it is difficult for Chavez to demonize Obama given his very accomodative stance to date, he can still generate leverage by demonizing others within the US adminstration (like Hillary). For this reason, Chavez has repudiated the Hillary-supported talks in Costa Rica and asked Obama to “set things right” on his return from Russia. By doing so he continues his “divide and conquer” tactics, first attempting to peel off Hillary from Obama, with the strategic goal of ultimately peeling off Honduras from the US.

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