Pandemic in Cahoots with Washington to Overthrow Chavez?

Venezuelan lawmakers who support president Hugo Chavez take grave issue with Pandemic Studios' upcoming free roaming explosion-fest sequel Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. Politicians accuse the game's developers of working with the United States government to create public ill will against Chavez, following United States president George W. Bush's public worries about an "erosion of democracy" in the South American nation. "I think the U.S. government knows how to prepare campaigns of psychological terror so they can make things happen later," said congressman Ismael Garci in reference to the game. The events of Mercenaries 2 takes place in the middle of a Venezuelan oil crisis, sparked by a figure the game's official website describes as "a power-hungry tyrant."
Lawmaker Gabriela Ramirez said "Mercenaries 2" gives a false vision of Chavez as a tyrant and Venezuela as being on the verge of chaos. She said the game could be banned under a proposed law aimed at protecting Venezuelan children from violent video games.

In the U.S., "it sends a message to Americans: You have a danger next door, here in Latin America, and action must be taken," she said. "It's a justification for an imperialist aggression."

Pandemic public relations rep Chris Norris said that the game is not intended as an explicit political statement, though the topical plot may indeed drum up discussion. "Although a conflict doesn't necessarily have to be happening," he said, "it's realistic enough to believe that it could eventually happen."

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames has so far only been announced for PlayStation 3. Its initial announcement pegged it for "next generation consoles," however, implying that it will not be an exclusive title.