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The Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chavez and the War Against America Hardcover – January 6, 2009

3.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For anyone concerned with what's going wrong in Latin America and how the U.S. can help set it right, this book is a must read." -- Ambassador Diego Arria, Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations before Chávez

"It's time to pay attention to the alarm bells; we should engage with our southern neighbors to address pressing security threats across the hemisphere, including those from Caracas." -- U.S. Congressman Ike Skelton (Democrat, Missouri), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee

"Hugo Chávez is (or should be declared) a state sponsor of terror, and The Threat Closer to Home tells us why." -- U.S. Representative Connie Mack (Republican, Florida), member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

About the Author

Douglas E. Schoen has been a consultant for the Democratic Party for the past thirty years. A founding partner of Penn, Schoen, and Berland Associates, Inc., he was former President Bill Clinton's research and strategic consultant during the 1996 reelection campaign and has worked for major corporations and nineteen heads of state around the world, including Silvio Berlusconi, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ehud Barak. He is the author of five books.

Michael Rowan has a long history as a successful political consultant both here and in Venezuela and also as a newspaper columnist in Latin America. In the United States he has advised winning candidates in twenty-six states; he has also advised presidential and other candidates in thirteen foreign countries, including Governor Manuel Rosales of Venezuela, former President Jaime Paz Zamora of Bolivia, and President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416594779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416594772
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,046,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the Preface, Schoen and Rowan explain: "It's important for us to set out this book--why we have spent the amount of time and effort that we have over the last few years writing about Hugo Chavez and working to change politics in Venezuela.

While admiring Chavez's intentions to eradicate poverty and corruption in his country, we have sadly come to believe that Chavez arguably presents a greater threat to America than Osama bin Laden does on a day-to-day basis, and this is our opportunity to set out the reasons why we believe this to be the case." A bit hyperbolic for my taste, but I got the point.
The authors didn't just "parachute into" Venezuela, sniff around, dig up some dirt and produce an expose. They utilized their extensive experience and contacts in the nation to get to the heart of the problem posed by Hugo Chavez.

In the Introduction, they cover the "five critical fronts of Chavez's initiative against" the United States.

"These are his oil; his alliance with Iran; the FARC's guerrilla war in Colombia; promoting anti-American states; and building friendly or so-called soft assets in the United States."

The rest of the work is an amplification on these themes. They are astounded by those who justify his dictator-like actions because Chavez was democratically elected. Perhaps the first time, but not since, they argue. They cover familiar ground concerning how Chavez utilizes Venezuelan oil resources as an economic weapon, often to the detriment of his countrymen. They also explain and document his support of Islamist terrorists and contend the only explanation for such support would be "to harm the United States by any means at hand.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Rowan went native and married in Venezuela well before Chavez arrived in the scene. He knows first hand.
Douglas Schoen is an expert political analyst than shoots from the left. Excellent!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is so ridiculously opinionated, there is not one sentence in it that is not dripping with bias and colorful adjectives. I tried using it for a research paper on Chavez, and ended up using it as an example of how Americans hate him for no reason other than he is GASP!!! a socialist! And how America hates Venezuela because they want to GASP! nationalize just 20% more of their oil resources!

It mocks the poverty that is consistent to Venezuela, and shows pure hatred towards Islam, Cuba, and socialism.

Get out of your American bubble and write a truthful book.
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Format: Hardcover
The book seems to be a bit confusing. It contains a plan to get rid or reduce Hugo Chavez power, by mainly cutting his market in oil if that is all required what sort of a threat is he? I also confess, I find the part of a Hezbollah base implausible.

Still I do accept that Chavez has with his grand socialist and anti Western schemes has wrecked in Venezuela the social system, economy and political process.

Many of the threats noted in this book published in 2009, have gotten worse. 2010 figures show this society experienced a growing crime rate, increased inflation now 35%, more people leaving and real standard of living falling. This is despite an increase in oil prices in 2010.

Furthermore, it appears that Venezuela now accounts for much of the world's cocaine shipments to Europe and the US. How much of this is Chavez's directly and how much is his underlining is unclear.

The problem ultimately is oil. As long as oil prices are high, people like Chavez have power.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is good fire-starter material at best. It is so full of distortions and outright lies and propaganda. Hugo Chavez is not the demon American media makes him out to be. The truth about the media campaign to discredit and demonize Chavez is this; Chavez is an incredibly brave and courageous leader who stood up against American imperialism, he nationalized the oil industry and used the profits to help the poor in Venezuela, which hurt American oil profits!. American oil companies of course don't like this, since they would rather perpetuate a system that benefits the few at the expense of the many, what American corporations have been doing in Latin America is nothing less than brutal exploitation and profiteering, regardless of the social and environmental cost, which they have no regards for.

Any propaganda you see against Hugo Chavez that attempts to demonize him and taboo him in some way or another in American media you can trace it back every single time to this; he is limiting American corporate access to the valuable natural resources in that country, American corporations are not getting there way, the result is garbage propaganda like this book here. The goal of all this propaganda is to raise enough popular support against the current government of Venezuela in order to justify intervention and removing Chavez from power, SO THAT American corporations can proceed to brutally exploit that country for its resources again. This is a trend that America repeats all over the world, you can always tell which countries have resources that American corporations want by just turning on the news and seeing which foreign leaders they are trying to demonize and discredit. Once you know the game the pattern is not hard to recognize. A good present example would be Syria and Iran, see what I'm talking about now? Don't fall for any of it!
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