To prevent terrorist attacks emanating from failed states, Defense Secretary Robert Gates urges US support for militaries of troubled nations. But that argument can lead to an embrace of repressive regimes and endless foreign adventures – and it ignores the crucial link between democracy and stability.
Chávez has announced his support for the Iranian president's claim of election victory. The two leaders have developed close ties based on mutual animosity to the US.
Venezuela withdrew its ambassador this week after Peru offered asylum to Chávez's political rival who faces corruption charges.
In an abrupt turn, the Venezuelan president reinstated the program two days after its suspension.