Hugo Chavez's Axis of Ego
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (51), former paratroop officer and leader of an unsuccessful coup d'état in 1992, eventually became El Presidente de Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela. Chavez is a socialist reformer who supervised a new constitution, social programs, and foreign policy 'reforms' largely distancing Venezuela from the United States while embracing his axis of ego: Cuba; North Korea; China; Russia; and Iran.
According to Venezuelan, male mortality figures, Chavez can expect to live another 20 years. Constitutionally, Chavez may, if re-elected in 2006, serve another 6-year term. He wishes to remain president until death, however, and will attempt whatever means necessary to hold and expand the reigns of Venezuelan power. Assuming he will be handily re-elected, Chavez has only a few years to assure holding power beyond 2012.
Only the passage of time will reveal how dangerous and unstable this leader may become for Venezuela's citizens and its political hemisphere. The AP photo may come to symbolize this latino lightning rod.