Well, maybe not with weapons but certainly with oil and ridicule, I should add.
It seems that the Pat Robertson call for murder has been not only a publicity boon for Chavez, but probably the moral booster he needed after weeks of rather lackluster results. This week we got several examples of Chavez at his vulgar best: el vivo que cree que se la comió (1).
First he started offering fuel relief for US poor through Jesse Jackson. Today it was help for Katrina damage (he refused US help in 1999 Vargas disaster which if lesser in scope than Katrina probaly will have caused more deaths, and was certainly not a model in disaster management). And then he moved on to expose Bush incompetence in not managing to evacuate the US coastal area (showing his ignorance on not only the extensive territory that a hurricane covers, but of US habits in such times and what federalism is all about), while pointing out that less developed Cuba had no problem in moving 2 million people a few weeks ago during the last hurricane (which is a very unlikely number that of course cannot be independently verified). And more. Basically Chavez made fun of the US tragedy even as he was offering help. One could not help but sense that Chavez was probably very amused by the suffering experienced in the Gulf states this week.
It also happens that CNN got interested after the Pat spat and sent Lucia Newman do a report on Venezuela. We saw her on CNN at a Venezuelan gas station holding a bottle of water costing incredibly more than the same volume of gas at the pump (2 bucks can fill up your tank these days while 2 bucks barely buy you a gallon of premium bottled water). CNN also did an interview of Chavez that came out today on CNN Latin America. Chavez among many inanities stated that "Venezuelan intelligence" had discovered plans for an US invasion to Venezuela, with even the schedule of bombers raid or something of the sort. The US will take the oil regions and do this and that. But of course the Venezuelan army is getting ready for that; Vietnam and Iraq will be chicken feed in comparison to the hell that awaits the Marines in Venezuela.
But hold on for a minute! Venezuelan Intelligence got that plan from the Pentagon? Is this the same intelligence that has yet to break the Danilo Anderson case? OR that ignored the whereabouts of Montesinos for months while he was hiding in Venezuela? OR the military intelligence that has failed to tell us what happened to the burnt soldiers of Fort Mara? OR the Granda guerilla chief having set up house in Venezuela and even voting? OR the longer and longer delays on the executed students case investigations where we will never know who gave the order to shoot them? OR so many other cases where military and chavista interests risked been touched and thus the investigations dossiers ended up in some dusty back room drawers to rot until kingdom comes. The nerve! Gimme a break!
But the glee of Chavez could not be held during that interview. It was despicable for his opportunism, and grievous for us to see that he thinks that we are stupid enough to believe his tall tales. Or are his followers that stupid?
But I think that the only one stupid here is Chavez. I bet anything that some military and Cuban "intelligence" concocted some crappy invasion plans and made it pass for real intelligence discoveries. As Milagros Socorro wrote so eloquently a couple of months ago, the one that is in prison these days is Chavez, losing contact with reality, entrusting himself more and more to a small camarilla that manipulates all the info he gets while they pursue some dark agenda. And that, my friends, is the real danger.
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(1) Slang term difficult to translate properly. Describes malicious characters that get away with murder through their trickery and chutzpah.