In an interview airing on Venezuelan television and reported by The Washington Post Monday, Chavez said Obama has "the same stench" as Bush. The comment harkens back to September 2006, when Chavez followed Bush at an appearance at the United Nations General Assembly opening and said he could still smell the "sulfur" left behind by the U.S. president's presence at the podium.
But, in a possible sign of warming relations, Chavez did not cross himself to ward off the smell as he said it.
Chavez and his ilk are going to have more trouble with a President who isn't hated. Lao Tsu says that it's best to be a leader who is loved, next to be feared, and worst to be despised. Chavez was anti-Bush when Bush was feared, and outrageously anti-Bush when Bush was despised. Now comes a leader who is, actually, rather loved. It's going to be a mismatch for a guy like Chavez, especially when he's faced with falling oil prices and is forced to open bids to the West for oil in the Orinoco. Obama's election may be the best thing to happen to Latin America's moderate left.