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In my mind, the most challenging political issues that face Venezuela come down to the presence of Hugo Chavez. As the singular leader that has a control of the political state of Venezuela, much is going to be dependent on him. For example, in a world of an increasing need for globalization and a setting where economies are linked to one another by free market self interest, Chavez seems something of a throwback to a more ideological time. Chavez's disdain for "the West" makes this a challenge. Yet, at the same time, his nation's embrace of a "multi- polar world" where alliances are formed amongst so- called "Third World" nations is unique. There are questions as to whether or not this is going to be something that will withstand in the new political dynamic. For example, so- called "Third World" nations that join Chavez's Venezuela might do so for political expedience. Yet, if the opportunity presented itself for more free market income to be generated, would such nations continue to honor such ideological alliances, or be more pragmatic in their policy making focus? In this light, Venezuela might be pursuing an end that is not as pragmatic as the current setting might demand. Another political reality for the nation would be its reserve of oil. How it will handle this resource as the world dynamics and desire for petroleum presents itself will be interesting from both economic and political ends. Given the fact that this is a point of political leverage for Venezuela, the question becomes whether or not the nation will be able to parlay this into greater political advantage.
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