Chavez is no dummy. He knows full well that if he stomps on the opposition much harder than he already has, the left in places like America and Britain will start to edge away from him and he’ll lose the support that’s helped him get to where he is right now.I think this illustrates a larger point. Actions in foreign countries are not always - hell seldom are - primarily driven by, for or against the interests of the United States. This applies in Australia where an anti-Bush prime minister and governing coalition got voted into office due to overwhelmingly domestic issues, and the Australian foreign policy intersect and disunion sets with US policy was a tertiary issue for most voters. This applies in Venezuala where Chavez has overwhelmingly been playing to an economically populist crowd. This applies to Hamas in the Palestinian Territories as they did not win for being more anti-Isreali or at least more pro-armed confrontation against Isreal, but for being the less corrupt, reasonably competent at providing a social safety net compared to Fatah.
Yes, foreign policy does interact with domestic policy, but policy and political debates in other countries often have highly salient dimensions that are not about the United States, and foreign influences, including that of TEH LEFT.