|The Netherlands King visits the naked emperor of chavismo|
And let's face it, why would the Netherlands go to war with Venezuela over Aruba? Over what looks now like a botched DEA job? Did they not send Willem and Maxima to see Maduro last November? The only European head of states in a long time willing to breathe the foul air of Caracas.....
There is a reason why countries are not ready to take definite stands against thugs like Venezuela or Putin: too many economic interests put together with real expensive welfare state systems. Welfare systems are sustained in large part on the big amount of taxes companies like Shell pay the Dutch treasury: company taxes, income taxes from its employees, sales taxes from Shell's products sold in the Netherlands, and local taxes here and there. I do not know what is the extent of Shell or other Dutch companies exposure in Venezuela, directly or indirectly through "associations", but it must be big to be the only European willing to send its king, and to release Carvajal so quickly.
And that is all I will blame the Dutch with: they are true to themselves and there is no point in being upset at them more than necessary. The Dutch are tough when they are in a group, very tough. But alone in front of Venezuela, because the US of A is using them instead of doing the job themselves...... here, if I am going to put most of the real blame, it is on the US of A. Sorry.
Let's discuss more interesting stuff in the second part of the post.
Chavismo is going to party hard tonight. I would not. The international backlash is there and will not be erased with a picture of Carvajal back home. The PR disaster, from bullying Aruba to defending a narco military has been read in all foreign offices and press rooms. There is no escape from that one. Not that chavistas care of PR, of course, but their travelling style will from now on be severely crimped as the US of A will not do the same mistake next time. And that, chavismo cares about.
Inside Venezuela the swift retrieval of Carvajal can only mean one thing: the military are on top. Venezuelan military may be all or some corrupt and/or narco but they have that thing about "no man left behind" though for the wrong reasons. More interestingly, the desperate push to get back Carvajal betrayed a deep seated fear in the army.
Was Carvajal that important? Yes and no. The basic case on Venezuela as a drug narco state, a terrorist supporter, is already established. There is enough evidence, enough defections already available to the US and the EU (remember Aponte Aponte, Velazquez Alvaray, Izea, and more?). Carvajal was only going to plug a few holes, bring more details. Or maybe not. What was important here was not Carvajal knowledge, but the precedent that all of these narco thugs could eventually receive just punishment.
Finally, what was this all about? A farce maybe? After all, the big loser of the day may be El Nacional which published today that Carvajal had planned to surrender to the US for a while. El Nacional needs to account fast and well for such a major misinterpretation. Or can it do so?
The thing is that the swift, I repeat the word, retrieval of Carvajal means that not only the army has acted but also the drug traffickers, and all the thugs that could be affected. Money and means were put to serve the "cause" of Carvajal and thus maybe if he tried to surrender he may have not been able to do so.... All conspiracy theories are allowed tonight.
One thing is certain: quite a few countries "friendly" to Venezuela have discovered this week the power of drug cartels and military inside Venezuela, and that a decent opposition playing by the rules has no chances. These countries may decide to keep a blind eye on Venezuela anyway, but it will do them no good: drug traffic and militarism is an Ebola to democracy. It is already spreading away from Venezuela, count Aruba as its new victim, an island swiftly abandoned by the countries supposed to protect it.
PS: by way, this is clearly far from over. A Pandora box has been opened. Even the Venezuelan opposition risks to pay for other people mistakes. The MUD is on record accusing Carvajal this Saturday.