‘‘This government imports gasoline from the United States and says it fights against imperialism. It imports rice from the U.S. and it says that it has gained its independence,’’ he told a cheering crowd.
Henrique Capriles on the campaign trail. It's a theme that is too little examined in the U.S. media. Hugo Chávez depends a lot on the United States even as he lambastes it (and vice versa!). In 2002 the U.S. imported $10 billion worth of Venezuelan crude oil, and in 2011 that had increased to $36 billion. U.S. foreign direct investment totaled $13.7 billion in 2010, and was the United States' 26th largest goods export market in 2011.
At best, then, Venezuela is only marginally more economically independent from the United States than it was when Hugo Chávez took office. If the fight against imperialism entails economic independence, then it's not working.