The U.S. continues to use the drug war in South America as a tool of American Empire. The U.S. has been adding to its military in Colombia (which borders Venezuela) and now entered into an agreement with Holland for military bases off the coast of Venezuela claiming it was to fight the drug war.
Over the Bush Administration years Latin America loosened the U.S. Empire strings as Bush focused on Iraq but it looks like Obama is positioning the U.S. to retake the area with Venezuela as the prime
target. See http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16962.
Chavez is sensibly preparing for war but the U.S. can outgun him. If it goes this direction it will be bloody because many Latin American countries have made major strides against their big business bosses and do not want to go back.