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But the Falklands War demonstrates that when dealing with caudillos, the military “what if” must never be dismissed.

What happens if Mr. Chavez calculates that a Bolivar-like “liberation” of the islands from the prison of European colonial oppression would galvanize support for him throughout Latin America?

Outlandish, grandiose and delusional? Twenty-five years ago, Argentina’s dictatorship concluded the risks of outlandish action were worth the grand rewards.

Austin Bay is a nationally syndicated columnist.