Professor Kurt Olson of the Massachusetts School of Law strongly criticizes the American position towards Hugo Chavez.A Letter to Hugo By Kurt Olson Hugo, it’s been so long since we’ve corresponded. I’d like to cover what’s happened in your country since Pat Robertson decided it’s okay to assassinate you because of your many crimes against Empire. Specifically, Mr. Robertson said, “I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.” Kind words from God’s minister, don’t you think? So . . . what have you done? First of all, you’ve so alarmed Condi, that she said you were attacking the Catholic Church in your country. And yet, Venezuela Catholic leader Monsignor Roberto Luckert said, “[T]hat is a lie…The lady went to far, when she said things that are not true.” He then added, “I think it is a stupidity from that lady.” Hugo, if you’d permit me a brief digression, I’d like to confirm what Monsignor Luckert said about Condi’s tendency to lie and engage in “stupidities.” Testifying before our Congress, Condi said she couldn’t imagine the terrorists would fly planes into buildings. Just because the Presidential Daily Briefing says Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States, and the FBI has reported that men of Arabian descent have been taking flying lessons without learning how to land doesn’t mean it’s imminent, right? Now for the stupidity: New Orleans is under water, people are drowning or starving or both, and Condi goes to NYC and drops several grand on shoes at Ferragamo and then sees a Broadway play. A woman (Madame Desfarges?), who recognizes Mademoiselle Secretary spouts off, “[H]ow dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!” Never one to have her fashions questioned, Rice had security remove the woman. Why’s Condi so hopping mad that she’s after you? Can you say Chevron, or Exxon Mobil? You understand that these are important interests of the United States, you understand that Chevron had an oil tanker named after Condi, and you know that VP Dick Cheney had multi-billion dollar oil services contracts with these companies while working his little gig as Halliburton CEO, right? When you started talking about nationalizing Venezuelan oil and utility interests, did you think these oil barons would look the other way? Next, can you say Monroe Doctrine? Though originally announced in 1823 to keep meddlesome European colonialists out of our hemisphere, many neo-conservative revisionists argue that it gives the American Eagle carte blanche to invade any democratically elected, obstreperous Latin American country and sink her talons deeply into the neck of any tinhorn dictator who presumes to speak for his people. Your country is the fourth largest petroleum exporter to the US; did you think you could nationalize your oil to help cure poverty? If you did, you really are some kind of crazy socialist, friend of that crackpot Castro, and ideological descendent of Simon Bolivar and Ché Guevara. More importantly, here’s what’s got Condi apoplectic with rage and her golden slippers all soiled: You’ve inked a deal with the Devil incarnate – Joe Kennedy and Citizen’s Energy. What are the fat cats at Exxon-Mobil supposed to do when you’re selling Venezuelan Crude to Citizen’s Energy at a 40% discount to help make sure low-income Americans all over the Northeast don’t freeze to death? Then you run ads featuring American poor people thanking the Venezuelan people and Citgo. It’s bad for business, morale, and it makes Condi, Cheney the Antichrist, and his emasculated, tagalong, boy flunky W so hopping mad they could spit. So, if you want to get back in our good graces, try this: Treat your oil like it belongs to you, not your people. Pump it until the ground sinks beneath the Venezuelan caballeros, refine it disregarding environmental niceties, and, for goodness sake, charge a shameless price for it. And just like Jed Clampett, before you know it you’ll be a billionaire several times over, you can live in a gated community, and you can keep your riches in the Cayman Islands where taxes are a distant memory. Or . . . you can be an Emperor too. Do you really want to hobnob with the denizens of Caracas’s slums? Throw those slums the occasional bone, and everything will work well for them. Give them something other than discarded road signs, rusted sheet metal, and horse hair for dwellings, and what will they demand next? That’s right – they’ll want to visit you in your presidential digs. Frankly, Hugo, they’re the wrong home boys to hang with if you want to be declared Emperor in your lifetime. Kurt Olson is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover. He can e contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.