Hugo Chavez, re-elected with a ten per cent majority as President of Venezuela after fighting cancer for three years. Chavez is not liked and is even feared by the United States and some European countries as a disruptive force in South and Central America and more widely. But the poor people of Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America see him as someone who will on balance improve their lives and restore the independence of their countries.

Venezuela has oil and Chavez will continue to use it as a diplomatic weapon to cause trouble for the West.