An article by Mark Weisbrot in the LA Times
accurately captures the Monty Pythonesque quality of the Bush Administration's actions in Venezuela:
Like all of Latin America, Venezuela has governance problems: a weak state, limited rule of law, corruption and incompetent government. But no reputable human rights organization has alleged that Venezuela under Chavez has deteriorated with regard to civil liberties, human rights or democracy, as compared with prior governments. Nor does the country compare unfavorably on these criteria with its neighbors in the region.
Venezuela is a democracy...
[M]ost of the media remains controlled by the opposition, which attacks the government endlessly on all the major TV channels....
[I]n Latin America, a military coup against a democratically elected government is still considered a serious crime....
Over the last 25 years, income per person in Latin America has grown by a meager 10%, according to the IMF. This compares with 82% from 1960 to 1980, before most of Washington's economic reforms were adopted.
OK. So we have a country in which American reforms have caused a dramatic decline in the rate of improvement of living standards and yet it's a democracy which allows Washington's voice to be heard through the oligarchy-controlled media, and even believes that it's a crime to overturn free elections by force and violence!
One can almost imagine dark-robed figures of the Monty Python Inquisition turning to one another, carrying on a mumbled discussion, and then shouting, "To the stake!"