Senator Richard Lugar offers the following logic about Iran and Venezuela:
Venezuela, in sympathy with its friend Iran, could at the same time cut off its oil exports to the United States or take other steps to disrupt oil supplies.
This makes no sense. Hugo Chávez desperately needs oil revenue, and desperately needs the revenue that comes from the United States. Further, he has nothing to gain by wrecking his own economy for Iran.
Let me spell this out further. Hugo Chávez is running for re-election this year. He needs cash for his spending projects, and cannot afford a serious economic crisis, which oil disruption would foster. I think it is fair to argue that the vast majority of Venezuelans would resent being punished for the sake of Iran, and the opposition would surge.
Chávez loves to stick his finger in the eye of the United States government, but does not do so at his own expense.