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Did Hugo Chavez bury FTAA?

By Aleksander Boyd

11.11.05 | Chavez is quoted by his employees at Venezuelanalysis thusly "Chavez said he, “tasted victory,” and “buried” the FTAA". Another remark celebre of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was “How sad that the President of a people like the people of Mexico lets himself become the puppy dog of the empire". Aren't these moralist reminders of Hugo Chavez just hillarious? Mind you a democratically elected president of a 'sovereign' nation who is uncapable of going to the loo without prior consultation with the mentally unstable dictator of a failed communist regime calling others "puppy dogs..."?

Hugo Chavez's oil diplomacy is failing miserably as the rest of his policies. The announcement in Mar del Plata of Mexico's President Fox's idea to build a refinery and an electricity and gas network to help Central America nations does not count with the approval of the region's self-appointed energy benefactor. For that reason, and his support to the FTAA, he was scolded by Castro's mini me.

However other signals of significance, generated in Argentine's Akelarre, have gone under the media radar. For instance, in spite of all Chavez's petro-projects in the region (Petro-Andina, Petro-Caribe, Petro-Sur) 28 out of 34 countries are willing to join and become part of FTAA. Does that sound like Chavez has "buried" the genuine desires of the governments of 28 nations to improve the lot of their citizenry? Most unlikely. As Neil Cavuto said "why is Chavez agitating the anarchist crowd in the stadium instead of sitting with other Heads of State?"

So, truly, who/what got buried in Mar del Plata? The Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas, otherwise known as the neocommunists oil for political votes programme, was given the last rite and taken six feet under, and so was the case for Venezuela's crude diplomacy. Kirchner's image was dealt a tremendous blow (self-inflicted), the consequence of having lent support to the anti-Bush fauna shall manifest itself when the time of restructuring debt before IMF comes; the Lula-Chavez marriage of convenience seems to be heading towards divorce also, considering Lula's stance on Bush's agricultural tariff proposal only a day after in Brasilia.

In sum, and as customary, the loser is Hugo Chavez. Unfortunately the people of Venezuela, rather than Mexico's, keep picking the tab.

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