President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is trying to get people to look anywhere else than at the massive economic and utility failures that are defining his administration of the country, and his latest ploy is to once again go looking for trouble with Colombia.
He's been frothing at the mouth on his televised appearances (which happen at a whim, often daily).
He's making more trouble by engaging in petty provocations, and with the number of low-quality militia (and regular) troops he is waving around, things are likely no longer under any real control from the Palacio de Miraflores (Miraflores Palace; the office of the national executive in Venezuela).
This isn't going over very well. A number of sources inside and associated with the Venezuelan military are saying some parts of a war have already started, and it isn't going to end well for Venezuela.
But that's not what friends of Hugo are saying; the best friend he ever had says "I know Chávez very well. He would be the last one to provoke a conflict where Venezuelan or Colombian blood could be shed."
Clearly we've misjudged Hugo.
If the biggest exporter of Soviet-inspired revolutionary violence in the Western Hemisphere says Hugo is a right fellow, it must be so.