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Is Venezuela becoming the imperialist power of the South?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 25 May 2004 – Evo Morales admires Hugo Chavez; Hugo Chavez admires Fidel Castro and Fidel Castro is infatuated with Julius Caesar, Hitler, Marx and Lenin. Hugo Chavez’ parrot-like behaviour has become the laughingstock of the international community. Political analysts, journalists, politicians and businessmen alike shared the same concept of the Venezuelan President. His latest statements of a group of paramilitaries plotting to assassinate him have buried his credibility deeper in the mud for one simple reason; no self respected mercenary would travel nearly 1.000 kilometres into hostile territory to eliminate the chosen target to wait unarmed like sitting ducks to be arrested. Only in Chavez’ Disneyland.

Rumours have been circulating for some time now about the connection between destabilising grass root movements in Bolivia, spearheaded by Evo Morales, and Chavez’ Bolivarian Circles. Anti guerrilla efforts implemented by Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe have been rendered ineffective owing to the complicity of Venezuelan authorities and the FARC, ELN and other mercenaries. The common belief is that Venezuela is being utilised by Colombian guerrillas to regroup, rest and prepare for further violence. The Bolivarian Liberation Movement’s activities, militia organization that supports Hugo Chavez and allegedly provides tactical support to the guerrilla, appear to be expanding; its presence and actions have been reported in Tachira, Apure, Barinas and Merida.

One theme that does not seem to fade away is that of the US imminent military intervention. Without providing one shred of evidence, the leftist peanut gallery echoes day in and day out the same line. A brief look to the headlines confirms this fact. Interference is another best seller; the US’ funding of Venezuela’s NGOs is seen as destabilising attempts. Never mind that the accusations are baseless; irrelevant the fact that the accused civil organizations have not breached one single article of the country’s legislation; the make believe tale is that by accepting American monies they are responsible for the country’s instability.

Speaking about foreign interference it is rather interesting to observe that Anglophone news outlets have failed to report the diplomatic incident between Mexico and Venezuela. The Venezuelan Ambassador to Mexico Lino Martínez, in customary irreverent and gross fashion, declared, in a recent interview to the daily La Cronica of Mexico City, that President Vicente Fox had unfulfilled campaign promises and pointed out that presidential wannabe Andrés Manuel López Obrador is a ray of hope for the Mexican people, which may organize itself, under the latter’s command, to overcome the battles that will ensue. He went further stating that Mexicans live in a calamitous poverty stricken state, with all sorts of educational, health and employment problems, thus he considered that that people needs to awake, as the Venezuelan did when they voted Chavez to the presidency.

The Mexican reaction could not have been swifter. Lino Martínez was summoned by Mexico’s Foreign Ministry to explain his declarations. The journalist who interviewed him published the news in the said diary, which caused the malaise of the Mexican government. Rapidly both Venezuela’s Foreign Secretary and Ambassador Martínez dismissed the allegations as false, as they do so often with the Venezuelan media, only to learn that the whole interview had been tape-recorded and the entire verbatim can be heard on the diary’s website. Oops they did not count on that, did they? To make ends meet Ambassador Martínez decided to start anew and affirmed that the journalist and the diary had manipulated the issue, altering his voice to make it sound as if it was him. His accusations this time round prompted the threat of a lawsuit against himself and Venezuela’s Foreign Secretary Jesus Perez.

This diplomatic incident evidences a number of things. First of all Chavez is desperately pursuing a confrontational foreign policy. In so doing he expects to cause a conflict with whomever; Colombia, Mexico, the US, Chile, Mars… It matters not, what’s important is that international attention is not centred on the repair process of this weekend. On the other hand I remember a few weeks ago a similar impasse between Fidel Castro and Mexico that resulted in the calling of Mexican diplomatic personnel and the expulsion of Cuba’s Ambassador from Mexico. Could it be that Castro is using Venezuelan diplomats to score a point? Thirdly how can the Venezuelan government pretend to be successful in its anti imperialist rant when it has actually become the destabilising factor of the region? Would Chavez permit that a diplomat in Venezuela say publicly that for the country to overcome its present miserable state Enrique Mendoza needs to be voted into office? I think not and for his ever so present clumsiness the opposition somehow has scored yet another point against him.

Hopefully the chavista Ambassador will be reprimanded exemplarily by Mexico and the diary La Cronica will sue both buffoons. Hugo Chavez’ list of ‘friendly’ countries has just dropped another member, but it matters not for his idol must be very proud of him.

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