Salas-Romer opposed Chávez in 1998 elections but was defeated by 40 percent of the votes, in what he claims to be was a “rigged recount.” He labeled Chávez as a pawn of Arab fundamentalists seeking to exploit U.S.’s weaknesses: dependence on foreign oil, drug addiction, and arrogance. “U.S. is overconfident, some say arrogant that it can solve any problem, any time,” said Salas Romer. Another weakness is the blind devotion to freedom and ‘declaring war’ on infringements like wiretapping, which he suggests may be vital for national security.
Salas-Romer said while the U.S. was preoccupied with seeking the enemy in the East, demanding the collapse of the Berlin wall, radical Arab groups frustrated with Israeli/Palestinian conflict were condoling with Fidel Castro to create a New World Order to destabilize U.S. from within. “You’d be crazy to confront the U.S. directly,” he said, juxtaposing any confrontations with David versus Goliath, “with the U.S. being Goliath of course.”
He said Venezuela was chosen for two main reasons: geopolitical and oil reserves. The strategy to prepare Venezuela included four elements: weaken it politically and place Chávez as the revolutionary hero to implement socialist reform and assume absolute power. “The public fell in love with Chávez as the Robin Hood,” he said. Then tighten the alliance between Arab oil tycoons and radical Islamists. Finally, flexing muscle within OPEC to win European alliance and to deflate the value of the U.S. dollar.
Salas-Romer said Chávez personally appropriates profits from oil revenue to bolster his military, allotting a $4 billion budget. Cuba is allotted $28 billion in Petro dollars while Castro ensures Chávez’s security. Salas-Romer said provisions in Venezuelan laws are ensuring the merging of the two states, “Two countries, one tongue.”
He said Chávez is also lobbying support in Latin countries by buying them out of U.S.-American debt. While the alliance between the United States, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, and others provides some balance, Salas-Romer said the New World Order that is emerging is seeking equilibrium. The election of President Barrack Obama has softened two major sources of disdain—white supremacy and George W. Bush himself.
“He was a despised man and was blamed for everything that was and was not his fault,” Salas-Romer said. He said there has not been a shift in U.S. policy and most of the actions are reactionary and not pre-emptive. Salas-Romer expressed frustration with Washington politics, and the lack of interest in the U.S. media saying anything that happens south of the border is ignored. He warned this neglect would allow ‘the enemy to enter through the “kitchen door.”
Salas-Romer said there is no hope to defeat Chávez democratically, as he keeps delaying elections and he has vast control over the media.
Describing Chávez as a man with radioactive amounts of energy who is able to speak continuously for 10 hours and can overtake media programming at whims it is impossible for any competitor to resonate with the public. There are voices of dissent and Salas-Romer projects the Catholic Church will be a formidable opponent. Most, however, are too poor and disfranchised to do anything.
Exactly what Chávez wants: “I have this pond in one of my properties that is filled with fish. And every time I approach them they run away from me… to clean the pond I dispensed the water and put them all in a tub… and they would caress my hand but when I refilled the pond and set them free they returned to their old patterns,” Salas-Romer said. His analogy resonated as he mentioned Chávez is seizing control of food companies, “I think he is preparing us for rationing,” he said.
Salas-Romer said if the U.S. can allocate attention and resources to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, drug cartels in Mexico and Islamic extremism globally, Venezuela should be a top priority in its national security agenda.
Salas-Romer said while Venezuela does not have nuclear capabilities it supplies uranium to Iran under the guise of aluminum shipment.
Despite Chávez’s propaganda, Venezuelans adore the U.S. and Salas-Romer said the country is still safe for U.S.-Americans though the high murder rate may be a deterrent for most.
Ken Kabb toured Venezuela and said they embody Latin hospitality and sincerity. He said Salas-Romer’s analysis of links between Islamic extremists and Chávez were dead on and the media needs to start paying more attention to the hatred being churned out against Jews. Kapp said Venezuelans may be good hearted and strong enough to resist but, “no one is strong enough to resist weapons.”
Salas-Romer said he was delighted to return to Cleveland, calling the city his third home. His election strategy was created and shaped in Cleveland and he expressed an affinity for the Cleveland Indians and super star LeBron James. He felt compelled to return to Cleveland and shares his views with the city, “It is my duty to inform you of the dangers,” he said.
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