From my recovery quarters I am reading finally "La Fiesta del Chivo", the great novel of Vargas Llosa about the last day of Dominican dictator Trujillo and the consequences his 31 years rule had over the psyche of his countrymen. Consequences that still scar the country.
Today the Venezuelan Nazional Assembly decided to examine the possibility of aggression from Colombia to Venezuela. Truly, such a promptitude in taking Chavez' line (dated December 28) would be worth to mention in that book. One can never cease to be impressed at how the Nazional Assembly (and others from the high court tot he nation's attorney) bend backwards to see who will accommodate the whims and idiocies of Chavez the fastest. Certainly, I am sure that if Colombia were to detect the exact location in Venezuela of the FARC head and feel that a quick military operation would capture him, I think it would be very difficult for Uribe to resist the temptation. What could Chavez do? Declare war? Stop sending oil to the US? Finally we could say! Colombia would finally force coherence between Chavez words and actions....
But Uribe and Colombia folks in charge know better: time is on their side, they need just watch the implosion of Venezuela and attack, if they must, in a year or two. After all they do not need to go further than reading the following news: Venezuela gave to Nicaragua 4,000 portable stove with their gas tank. The gift by itself is no big deal, at least compared to the billions Chavez has wasted on his ALBA leeches, if it were after a hurricane or an earth quake, an always likely catastrophe in Nicaragua. But there is no emergency in Managua and these 4,000 stoves are very needed in Venezuela slums, the areas where supposedly Chavez works for. For Colombia reading such news confirms how insensitively deaf to Venezuela's reality Chavez is becoming. Such arrogance, such disparaging of Venezuela's needs surely will come back to bite him, sooner than later.
Colombia also can look at the mood of Chavez lackays to see that the mania of their boss is contagious (unlike Trujillo, Chavez seems to beleive his own words, if we are to beleive Vargas Llosa recreation). When Chavez hired help write communiques like the one agaisnt Peru Alan Garcia today, you know that chavismo is losing any synderesis that might have ever existed. I have no time to translate it but you can read it here in Spanish.
And last week there was also a communique from the foreign ministry supporting Iran repression and blaming it all on the US and its allies. With such a communique Venezuela ratifies once again that it supports a regime that massacres its opponents, minimizes women's rights, stones them for adultery, kills gay men, persecutes religious minorities, and is building nuclear weapons to impose its vision to the world at the very least through blackmail. Let's remember that Chavez revolution is allegedly about Human Rights.
And you expect Colombia to be nervous? When a government behaves the way the Chavez administration has behaved in the past 10 days you just need to seat and watch. And I am not even going into the latest war threat against Curaçao and Aruba and other such nincompooperies like the verbal aggression against the Spanish environment minister. Those communiques can be found in the main page of the ministry if you care.
The worrying thing in all of this is that servility to the leader is reaching unexpected proportions, be it the underlings writing the communiques at the foreign office or the major players such as the Nazional Assembly legislating on Chavez farts or the High Court president questioning the separation of powers. At least in Trujillo last days lackeys acted out of fear, unable to leave the island as the mere petition for a travel permission could land you in jail and torture... In Venezuela Ortega or Morales Lamuño, to name two, could still resign and benefit from early retirement. Chavez could bad mouth these women but they still could enjoy life in Caracas basically undisturbed. After all the bankers of December have yet to be seen in tribunals and even less in their supposed jails waiting for trial whereas any opposition political prisoner has his illegal jail confinement without trial duly documented.
No, what drives people like Ortega, or Morales, or Flores to do what they do is not fear but just plain moral debasement. They have no excuse and hopefully sooner than later they will find themselves on the accused bench. Or the general moral debasement of the country will allow them to escape such fate as too many in Dominican Republic were able to recycle themselves in the post Trujillo era.