Hugo Chavez is at it again, sticking his thumb into the eye of the overbearing United States of America. And, true to imperial historical form, the US is playing the outraged hemispherical nanny and blustering back.
Chavez is currently playing a round of the game my-enemy's-enemy-is-my-friend and hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  in Caracas. The Iranian president is on a tour of friendly leftist regimes in Latin America, while the leaders of our great nation whistle and look at the ceiling when Israeli agents murder Iranian scientists in broad daylight.
Fighting cancer , a chemo-bloated but grinning Chavez greeted an equally grinning Ahmadinejad at the Mireflores Palace in Caracas. At a press conference Palace under a painting of Simon Bolivar they made jokes about nuclear bombs and the imperialist giant to the north so obviously worried about remaining top dog in the world.
"Despite those arrogant people who do not wish us to be together, we will unite forever," Ahmadinejad told Chavez.
Referring to an area near the palace, Chavez replied, "That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out. The imperialist spokesmen say Ahmadinejad and I are going into the Miraflores basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles." He and Ahmadinejad both laughed.
If that isn't enough to pique imperialist leaders, President Chavez had earlier announced the appointment of his loyal pal General Henry Rangel Silva  as national Defense Minister. Rangel was formerly head of the nation's intelligence services and was a member of the failed but famous 1992 coup led by Hugo that brought him to prominence. This worried his opponents, since Rangel is a really tough guy who doesn't always play by the rules.
The United States insists General Rangel has connections to drug traffickers and has worked with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. This kind of charge should not surprise anyone, since the US supply-focused Drug War is a corrupt and baroque debacle in which virtually everyone in power in the region can be connected somehow with drug traffickers. We're now at the point it's hard to distinguish from the Drug War and the War On Terror. In fact, the US willfully blurs the lines. If US militarist leaders doesn't like you, you're easily placed into one of them.
To show how this works, the right's beloved President Ronald Reagan can glibly but accurately be linked with drug traffickers. During Reagan's beloved Contra War there were many documented cases of pilots and other mercenaries running guns down to the brave Contras in Nicaragua and returning to the US -- why fly back empty? -- with bales of marijuana and cocaine. One pilot even testified to Congress about being ordered to land a C-123 with pot at Homestead AFB in South Florida. Just like on the street corners of our inner cities in America, in Latin America, the Drug War follows all the capitalist rules of supply and demand and the beloved free market.