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PetroCaribe: A Chavez foreign policy set back?

By Daniel Duquenal | Venezuela News and Views

30.06.05 | I have the pleasure to quote myself from my previous post:

But Chavez will ultimately fail because his foreign policy is a blackmail one. He might not suffer himself its consequences, but Venezuela will as one day these islands will get revenge from the humiliations that Chavez impose on them, forcing them even to receive Castro as their leader with Chavez.

Remember, you read it here first.

Tonight I read the following news from El Universal: a few Caribbean countries are balking at signing the chart of PetroCaribe....

Now, that would be quite a setback!

El Universal suggests that it might be Trinidad and Tobago. Imagine that! Its excuse would be "previous energetic commitments". Rumors from Venezuelan officials would be that "they are subject to international pressure" (probably the US, no?)

Let's look at that for a brief second. Trinidad and Tobago are self sufficient in oil and could actually provide for a few other islands. Trinidad and Tobago also has a GNP per capita that might soon double the one of Venezuela. Why would Trinidad and Tobago, probably near summoned by Chavez to Puerto La Cruz to pay allegiance to Castro, favor Chavez just like that?

No, the explanation lies elsewhere, and is quite simple. No need for the US intervention even, though of course it cannot be discarded. No. Chavez wanted a summit to shine and came up fast with that not too great idea and summoned all to come and applaud. Successful summits require months of careful preparation and in fact the final agreement is 99% ready before the first summiteers land. In their usual chavista messy and incompetent ways, all was rushed up (after all, what can you expect from a foreign ministry where diplomatic personnel is formed in 3 weeks courses and whose only required credentials are willingness to serve and propagate the bolivarian involution?)

The Trinidad officials came, saw the mess, saw that it was just another vehicle of a money crazed caudillo and said "no, thanks". They did exactly what Leonel Fernandez of Dominican Republic is doing: he signed because it serves its people interests, Trinidad did not sign because it does not serve its people interest. Both serve their people first. And Chavez remains clueless.

Clueless and publicly humiliated by his own controlled state TV. This one suspended suddenly the lavish coverage of the summit as soon as Chavez read a note that was given to him announcing that some countries were not playing anymore. That suspension is tonight even bigger news than the Trinidad default....

Now, how could that possibly happen? Where were the foreign ministry officials to prevent such a public slap? Where were they to tell VTV to suspend discretely live coverage before the bad news was announced, so as to give time to build some spin? But no, they are just too incompetent and Izarra is piling errors more and more. How long is he going to last in office?

No wonder foreign conspiracy is again invoked by chavismo, but it probably will be greeted with amused smiles even by Leonel Fernandez. The irony that ignorant chavistas might fail to notice is that Leonel, whose economy depends much more on the US than Trinidad, is actually the one who is willing to sign...... Pressure? Where? Ignorance? Everywhere!

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Ps: Ali, if you want to hire me as a consultant I might accept it. I am just too embarrassed by your constant setbacks because your people do not even seem to know their basic geography. I will help for the sake of the country, willing to put my antichavismo aside to avoid this constant "pena ajena".

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