The Daily Demarche
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Venezuelans to take long way to el norte?
Apparently while the rest of Latin America was busy protesting the presence and policies of President Bush in Argentina a few weeks ago, President Vincente Fox of Mexico and President Fidel Castro, er, Hugo Chavez, of Venezuela were working themselves up to see who is the big enchilada.

Chavez has set out to derail the Free Trade Area of the Americas, primarily because Castro's Cuba would not be included, and when Fox backed the plan Chavez called him a "puppy" of the United States, and it just went downhill from there.

For the most part the U.S. has stayed out of this, it really is none of our business, but United States Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield did make a brief statement today, as reported by the excelent blog Venezuela News And Views, self described as "...the diary of Venezuela slow decent into authoritarianism, the slow erosion of our liberties, the takeover of the country by a military caste, the surrendering of our soul to the Cuban dictator... ( Note: the comments in brackets in the following quote are by the host of that blog, I am assuming he also made the translation as the comments were in Spanish):

[The US has been accused of being behind] of the presidential assassination attempt, coup d’etat, promoting Venezuelan voter abstention, internal divisions within Chavez party, campaign of the opposition, Vargas floods [in February because Bush did not sign Kyoto] bombs in the CNE office of Carabobo, killing a prosecutor [CIA involvement in the Anderson case, at least not alone there], complot to terrorize Venezuelan kids at Halloween, Colombia’s DAS declarations, decreasing PDVSA production, the International Trasnparency campaign [where Venezuela was revealed as one of the most corrupt countries], international negative media campaign, campaign against the Aves island [a tiny island in the Northern Caribbean that some island state would like to take away from Venezuela, something totally unfounded for this blogger who would suggest to trade it for the Guyana portion stolen from Venezuela by the Brits, but I digress]

How can I sleep with so many conspiracies and intrigues? The truth is that in this world there are some things that have nothing to do with the US, and this is one of them [the Venezuela Mexico spat]

It is not often that you get to hear a U.S. Ambassador say something like that!

The spat between the two leaders has escalted, and both countries have recalled their Ambassadors (although to be fair Fox threatended to declare the Venezuelan Ambo persona non-grata if Chavez did not apologize). The Guardian reported yesterday that Chavez sent Fox a message when he recalled his Ambo: "Don't mess with me."

I haven't seen Fox's reply yet, but with Venezuela poised to become a Castro-ite satellite state I would bet that a good number of the Venezuelan population hopes things cool off betwen the two leaders soon- after all the may have to cross Mexico to get to the border of the U.S.

(End of post)

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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