In 1999, Hugo Chavez, the newly elected president of Venezuela, threw the opening pitch at a Mets game at Shea Stadium. He slammed the gavel to close the day’s trading at the New York Stock Exchange. He visited the White House, where he was so excited to meet Bill Clinton that Clinton hardly got a word in edgewise.
So what went wrong? How did Chavez become such a thorn in the side of the United States?