It probably doesn’t help an American president to pick up the public approval of a known anti-American thug. The similarity between the two — both are severe critics of capitalism, and both go out of their way to stifle dissent when it appears in the media — is hard to ignore.

In a campaign speech Saturday night, [Venezualan dictator Hugo] Chavez equated the agenda of his challenger, Henrique Capriles, with that of Romney, saying both men represent the callously selfish capitalist elite.

Chavez claims Capriles, a moderate former governor, is trying to trick Venezuelans into believing he genuinely cares about the poor, the core of Venezuelan president’s constituency.

“I believe the person to best explain the loser’s agenda isn’t Barack Obama but rather Romney, because it’s the extreme right-wing agenda that borders on the fascism of the United States,” Chavez told tens of thousands of supporters in the western city of Maracaibo.

“In the end, it’s the same project,” Chavez said, referring to Obama as “a good guy.”

Hugo Chavez must be a Democrat: He famously compared then President George W. Bush to the devil during a surreal speech at the United Nations in 2006.

President Obama hasn’t quite returned Hugo’s affections, but did recently say that despite Chavez’s connections to Iran, Hizballah, the international drug trade and his destabilizing presence in central and South America, Chavez does not constitute a “serious threat” to the United States.