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¡Adiós, Hugo!

Despite superficial signs of strength, Hugo Chávez's regime is in terminal decline

By Michael Reid   April 2008

Fortunately it turned out to be mere melodrama, not tragedy. After Colombia’s armed forces killed a leader of the Farc guerrillas by bombing a camp just across the border inside Ecuador on 1st March, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez ordered troops and tanks to his own border with Colombia and threatened to unleash his newly acquired Sukhoi fighter-bombers. Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua all broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia—only to promise to restore them days later amid bearhugs and handshakes all round at a Latin American regional summit in Santo Domingo, Ecuador.

On the face of things this episode showed the extent…

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