All thinking people have recognized the Chavez regime as essentially an attempt to turn the country into a Cuban-style totalitarian state. His authoritarian style, and closed-minded adherence to outdated leftist rhetoric, were widely recognized as detrimental. His opposition to the international free-market institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, combined with his attempts to cultivate relationships with such isolated, pro-terror states as Libya, Iraq, and especially Cuba, were leading Venezuela down the path to "rogue nation" status.
But unlike those countries, Venezuela has a proud tradition of democracy and free markets, which 4 years of leftist authoritarianism could not destroy. When Chavez tried to sack the management of the state-owned oil company (which past governments, responsibly, had supported the privatization of), the free press, oil executives, the Catholic church, and even the labor unions began a massive campaign in support of democratic rights. After a huge protest of nearly 200,000 people was attacked by armed pro-Chavez snipers, Chavez showed his true colors by shutting down all private television stations. The military, in the responsible Latin American tradition, revolted against these heinous order, and forced Chavez to resign.
A new transitional government headed by economist and opposition leader Pedro Carmona Estanga has taken office. Anti-business laws enacted by Chavez, and the new authoritarian constitution he created, have already been repealed. Oil production is being increased, and stock markets are going up. We in the United States should be especially supportive of this new government, as Venezuela represents the largest exporter of oil to the US, and one of the most reliable alternatives to the terrorist Arab states. It is vital that this source of oil remains available to international markets.