Monday, November 14, 2005

Venezuela and Mexico suspend diplomatic relations

Act 1: Mar del Plata, the summit of the Americas

Chavez does a counter summit with an ex druggie and a coca provider. Takes the front stage with a paid for audience (at least there is evidence of people ferried to that show). Meanwhile the other countries are trying really hard to work out a deal.

Chavez rejoins the sessions, finally, only to sabotage things further and fight with whomever does like FTAA.

Pro FTAA countries vote 28 + USA against 4 + Venezuela. Chavez self stated purpose of ruining FTAA once and for all is sent back to him with a nasty sound of "smack" in the face.

Vicente Fox of Mexico is one of the leaders of the FTAA effort and thus the Chavez slayer.

Act 2: A cadena in Venezuela

Chavez, obviously smarting from his diplomatic setback in Mar del Plata (not even a single island of the Caribbean to whom he bribed with oil followed him in Mar del Plata) decides to insult Fox during a live enforced all media broadcast, a "cadena". Nobody can miss the moment.

Fox foreign ministry demands explanations.

Act 3: Derbez and Rodriguez try to smooth things out

Apparently some progress is made.

Act 4: Sunday Alo Presidente

Chavez just ignores (?) the efforts of his foreign minister. Chavez shows videos of the working sessions which are supposedly confidential so that the leaders can speak more freely. Chavez insults Fox again.

The Mexican foreign ministry now demands a formal apology.

Lamely a Venezuelan minister claims the usual suspects: media conspiracy, obscure interests sectors and what not. Never the rudeness of Chavez is called into question.

Act 5: Traveling ambassadors

Venezuela retires its ambassador from Mexico. Fox things that it is best to retire both ambassadors. The news is carried by CNN. Chargés d'affaires will deal with the day to day, one supposes.

Provisional conclusion: with all the problems at home from electoral apathy to the very, very botched and badly backfiring Anderson investigation there is an urgent need to create a diversion. A presidential temper tantrum that will cost dearly to the country is the chosen excuse to distract folks. This is the way things are run in a country where any Yo, El Supremo fart becomes state policy.

And I am pretty sure that it is not the end of it.

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PS: Check Miguel's picture on how close Fox and Chavez were at Mar del Plata. Lovely irony.

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