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AQ’s Christopher Sabatini on CNN

When

March 6, 2013

Details

Christopher Sabatini, Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief and Americas Society/Council of the Americas Senior Director of Policy, appeared on CNN Tuesday night with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to discuss the immediate reactions to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ death on Tuesday.

Amanpour predicted that the political and economic aftermath of Chávez’ death “could be a pretty rude awakening” for other Latin American countries, particularly for Cuba and other neighbors that are dependent on Venezuelan oil. “I’m sure there’s a lot of worry going on there about what might be the result,” Amanpour said.

Sabatini said that the U.S. has less cause to worry about Venezuelan oil than in the past, but that there are plenty of looming concerns in U.S.-Venezuela relations. Vice President Nicolás Maduro’s announcement of Chávez’ death was preceded by news that Venezuela has expelled two U.S. military attachés from the country for alleged espionage. Maduro also hinted that the U.S. and other “enemies” of Venezuela had somehow caused Chávez’ death from cancer.

“The U.S. embassy is trying to reach out to the next government, aware that perhaps things might calm down a little bit,” Sabatini said. “But I think that the press conference that we saw today is an indication that they’re not going to.”

For the time being, Sabatini was not optimistic that there will be a major change in U.S.-Venezuela relations. “They’re going to still reach into their bag of tricks and continue to stoke this anti-Americanism—and in some cases, use it to their own political benefit,” he said. “And also as a way to make an excuse for the last three months when they said [Chávez] was going to come back and then, lo and behold, he isn’t.”

Watch the full interview here.




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