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Venezuela's Chavez seeks armed conflict with the USA

By Aleksander Boyd

London 24.01.04 | I get my weekly vegetables and fruits intake from an English chap who does the restaurant round in my street. He is the furthest one can possibly find as far as knowledge of the Venezuelan political crisis is concerned. He greeted me this morning by saying “did you see your president on the news?” I replied no; then he said “well mate, I don’t know anything about Venezuelan politics, but that guy seems to have lost the plot!” I asked why to which he replied “the chap was holding a dollar note in his hand and he said he would bet that he would be president much longer than Bush, the bloke is mad, isn’t he?” Readers can imagine my response, he then continued “I don’t like Bush or Blair, but that president of yours appears to be every bit as crazy as the other two…”

I got to see a bit of the presidential spiel yesterday and I noticed that Chavez has lost composure; his normal coherent-self wasn’t there; the rhythm and pitch of his voice have abandoned him; he's absolutely convinced that the hour of his rendezvous with history has finally arrived in the form of an open conflict; be it with Colombia or the USA. His megalomanic deliriums of martyrdom are so evident and blunt that he does not realize that he at his most vulnerable state. The fake smile of Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel on the back was memorable and to this observer, is quite obvious that Chavez’ inner circle is filled by enemies. He can trust no one, not the military branch, led by Diosdado Cabello and Jessy Chacon, much less the civilians in his entourage commanded by Jose Vicente Rangel. I used to crack up with Chavez’ talkathons but I guess the comical manner in which he used to address the nation has given way to an altogether disturbing performance of a mad man, a tropical Nero. Indeed, a truly remarkable spectacle.

My reading of the events is that he has been told to defuse attention by playing the sovereignty card, despite the fact that the official line all along has been that Granda was captured by corrupt Venezuelan officials in Venezuela. Rally goers sporting placards, given by the regime, containing messages such as “Rodrigo Granda, you are one of us” or chants such as “Rodrigo, amigo, el pueblo esta contigo” demonstrate the level of sheer ignorance that Chavez’ followers have with respect to terrorism and drug trade activities, or shall we say that the palliation of hunger is, to them, ever more important than principles? Would they chant like that after loosing their lives or that of relatives to guerrilla assassinations? Would they consider that Granda is one of them, had their children be bombed or massacred by the FARC? Are they immune to suffer the consequences of having to live with the misery that drug abuse bring? And the obvious question is; how do the disenfranchised actually profit from the presence and officially granted freedom-of-movement of narcoterrorists in Venezuela?

Hugo Chavez is so disconnected from reality, that he adventured to play womanizer again, not with Marisabel though, but rather with Condi Rice, future US’ Secretary of State. Typical stance of a Latin macho with "small man complex" feeling threatened by the intellectual superiority of a woman. How pathetic.

I sincerely hope that neither the US nor Colombia take the bait for Hugo Chavez does not merit martyrdom but a cell in an ADX prison, a la John Gotti.

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