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Chávez "short lists" Kirchner

By Tony Pagliaro

18.05.06 | The recent Heads of State “Summit” held in Vienna, Austria, where those from the European Union met (for the fourth time) with those of the Latin American was a real “eye opener” for Europe. It is definitely now far more clear than ever who is who in Latin America and who is playing which game in the region.

From the point of view of free trade (the “ratio” of the “Summit”), the meeting was a complete disaster. It failed to bridge all of the present gaps that separate agricultural protectionist Europe from industrially protectionist Latin America. But the “Who is Who” is now clear.

For example, Chile and Mexico are definitely two market oriented and open countries, where foreign investments encounter a friendly climate. On the other hand, Bolivia and Venezuela are now clearly two socialist countries whose leaders are obviously in bed (with an obvious “dominating partner” that provides ideological guidance, plus bodyguards and presidential planes). As a consequence, these referred to pair of countries do not welcome, at all, any foreign investment, not even if it comes from “mother country” Spain, or from a sister country, like Brazil.

What, instead, may not be that clear is where some other Latin American players may -in fact- stand.

Mr. Néstor Kirchner, the President of Argentina is, for instance, trying -as customary- to play a typical dual game, without taking any official position other than “in pectore”.

He is certainly trying to please both his real mate Hugo Chávez (who sincerely believes that southern Mr. Kirchner is his “Junior Partner”) and Europe, at the same time. A rather difficult game, indeed. Particularly when Hugo Chávez proclaims in London, “urbi et orbi”, that a “new era” has begun in Latin America and that he is leading “a new group of countries”, that includes Argentina.

To which one must add that Kirchner has recently coincided with Chávez “discovering” -all of a sudden- that the outcome of the Vienna Summit may well be the formation of a new “patriotic axis” including his pals Hugo Chávez and “Lula” de Silva, with shared views and common goals. (“Lula”, deeply concerned with the forthcoming election, has said absolutely nothing on this, by the way).

It must be understood that Chávez is, once again, using Marxist terminology. “Patriotic” in the socialist world means simply “loyal”. An example of this is the “Patriotic Catholic Curch” that operates in China, loyal to the communist leadership and not to Rome who’s Bishops are appointed by the Chinese State without consulting the Pope.

Having said all this, some of us do believe that leftist Mr. Néstor Kirchner, a former collaborator (together with his wife, powerful Senator Cristina Kirchner) of the Argentine Marxist guerrilla of the 70’s is already in bed with both Hugo and Evo. But he cannot admit it, for the time being at least, and is trying to hide this fact by playing the usual games (like the one connected with the Security Council treatment of the Iranian crisis) as the West does like. His heart, nevertheless is somewhere else. Way to the left.

By the way, his ally, the Media Mogul from Bahía Blanca, Mr. Héctor Magneto will be coming back from the Chicago hospital to Buenos Aires this coming Saturday. He is definitely not out of the wood, health wise, but he seems to be still fighting for his life, as one may expect. The “Kirchner-Magneto” duo will therefore probably continue in their joint operation manipulating Argentina’s public opinion on a non-stop basis.

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