Dem-Clinton. Chavez caught him at the end of his rule and wisely he deferred the solution to whomever came next. Still, in retrospective, had he invited Chavez to the White House he could have seduced him the way Castro did. Or at least moderated him somewhat since the only thing Chavez ever wanted, besides play ball, was to have his picture taken in the Oval Office. Otherwise how can you explain this hatred against a country of which Chavez personally had nothing to complain of?
Rep-Bush. His idiotic adventure in Iraq has changed our world. Had he stuck to Afghanistan only maybe he would have accomplished more. In retrospective, we cannot tell whether the US invasion of Saddam's Iraq sped up or slowed down the Arab spring. The fact of the matter is that the US needed its secure oil supply and the Bush administration was only to happy to accept any insult from Chavez as long as Venezuelan oil kept finding its way North. Even in the pseudo 2002 coup, the US alleged involvement was so diffident that it is almost as if they had wished Chavez to remain, least oil supplies would be perturbed.
Dem-Obama. Besides his forced upon hand shake with Chavez Obama has studiously avoided further contact. His policy was rather successful in treating Chavez as a non entity, the more so that Chavez errors finally started catching up with him. In fact, to his credit Obama's administration has encouraged a diminution of oil imports from Venezuela. We do not know whether it was due to Venezuela being a less reliable oil producer of natural antipathy, but regardless of the reason it was a wise move. Then again Obama blew it by declaring that Chavez is not a threat even though all the evidence is to the contrary, from Venezuelan having become a narco state to its support of FARC guerrilla and other assorted "insurgency" here and there. Never mind its alliance with Iran!
Rep-Romney? I put a question mark because if Obama is reelected we know that nothing will happen vis a vis Venezuela. A H. Clinton presidency could have been more dynamic on this respect. So, what has Romney said? Nothing convincing, nothing that shows he is truly informed, nothing that indicates a plan, all for strict electoral purposes. That the republicans are not as informed as one would wish them to be can be reminded to us regularly when we read idiotic declarations like the ones of Jon Voight, comparable only to the idiotic ones of the likes of Sean Penn. Of course, one thing is the campaign, another who Romney would appoint at State.
So you will forgive me if I am skeptic about any future role of the US in Venezuela, for good or bad, and if I am sitting this one out. Though watching recent Republican positions on abortion and gay rights I have to consider that an Obama reelection is probably the lesser evil as far as Venezuela is concerned. At least under Obama it would be easier for me to find a political refugee status in the US.... Not that I need it, mind you, I have a EU passport. Just talking.....
Hat tip Juan Nagel