Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Great Moments in Diplomacy: ambassadors with a message

Contrast these two scenes. Only one has a real message.

Scene 1: the ambassadors return home.

The return of the Mexican ambassador was a rather subdued affair. To the press that was waiting him at the Mexico airport he pleaded to let them go first to the chancery to make his report. He limited himself to say that Venezuelan people treated him very well and that many wished him well when he left (implying that many Venezuelans were not supporting Chavez?)

Vladimir Villegas return was of another sort. The ex ambassador to Brazil, ex director of the state TV, ex small time leftist journalist was not shy in front of the camera. In fact his presentation when he arrived made one wonder how could someone of his temple could make it as an ambassador, and to Mexico at that! No wonder that the Mexican foreign ministry has revoked his placet and that the eventual return of a Venezuelan ambassador will require naming a new one. One can only wonder what role did Villegas had in making matters worse: a “patán” like Villegas should not even be honorary consul! (1)

Sure enough Villegas declared only to the state TV, VTV, least a real journalist were to ask a real probing question. The "official" story first, and only! There was a time when Villegas complained about journalistic complacency, if I recall well, but I might be wrong. And the way he protested about “the campaign of the Mexican special interest groups and media” or something like that sounded hollow. Whether he has links with Al Qaeda, as an ambassador of Venezuela he should not go down the ring to battle the Mexican press. He did get the placet, no? Does anyone train diplomatic revolutionary personnel in Venezuela? In Brazil he was not impressive. In Mexico even less. Makes one wonder which are the real reasons for Chavez to keep sending him to such high profile embassies! (2)

Scene 2: The US ambassador declared to the press today. The US has been very careful to stay clear from the Mexico-Venezuela spat. “It is none of our business”, and it is probably true.

But William Brownfield is a smart guy and he was not going to waste an opportunity to put banderilla in the wounded Venezuelan bull. After all, poor Bill has had to put up with so many accusations of the US as the source of all evil on earth, that, well, you know, he had to let it out (3). Well, ambassador Brownfield came with a little piece of paper where he listed some of the many things that the US has been accused of vis-à-vis Venezuela:

[The US has been accused of being behind] of the presidential assassination attempt, coup d’etat, promoting Venezuelan voter abstention, internal divisions within Chavez party, campaign of the opposition, Vargas floods [in February because Bush did not sign Kyoto] bombs in the CNE office of Carabobo, killing a prosecutor [CIA involvement in the Anderson case, at least not alone there], complot to terrorize Venezuelan kids at Halloween, Colombia’s DAS declarations, decreasing PDVSA production, the International Trasnparency campaign [where Venezuela was revealed as one of the most corrupt countries], international negative media campaign, campaign against the Aves island [a tiny island in the Northern Caribbean that some island state would like to take away from Venezuela, something totally unfounded for this blogger who would suggest to trade it for the Guyana portion stolen from Venezuela by the Brits, but I digress]
And then, tongue in cheek, he adds:
How can I sleep with so many conspiracies and intrigues? The truth is that in this world there are some things that have nothing to do with the US, and this is one of them [the Venezuela Mexico spat]
I do not know about you but I think that Brownfield was superb; and I predict that contrary to Fox he will not get an Alo Presidente lashing for that one. I can hardly imagine how to summarize better Venezuela (Chavez in fact) paranoia and diplomatic incompetence to explain the loss of credibility of Venezuela (and Chavez) on the foreign stage. Crying wolf too much Hugo?

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1)Patan: lout, boor.

2)Video on Globovision, but for pay. Title: Villegas ante revocatoria... 15-11-05

3)Video on Globovision, and this one is worth it. If someone could pride the link it would be great. Title: Embajador Brownfield... 15-11-05, probably on for free until Wednesday morning.

NOTE ADDED: Stig, as usual, has come through and the Brownfield video can be seen here!

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