Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Uribe splendid European trip

Alvaro Uribe, president of Colombia continues his very successful trip through France, Spain and Switzerland. Apparently Europe is getting through and through the little cartoon from Weil, published today in Tal Cual. Chavez definitely looks more and more like the thug from the ruined down house down the block than any statesman.

Rather than expand on the different details in Spain and France, let's summarize the Uribe trip with the declarations of Javier Solana, speaking in the name of the European Union itself. From the Clarin in Argentina, to take a non European paper, we can translate the words of Solana as:

What the terrorists have to do is to release the hostages, without conditions, immediately.
They cannot justify what they do and that idea must take hold in the hearts of well intentioned people.
Will Chavez receive the message? I ain't holding my breath. Whatever Chavez does, Europe will keep considering the FARC as a terrorist group. The implication is clear: Do not want to be called terrorists? Release 'em hostages now.

Meanwhile the strategy of Uribe not to reply to the insults of Chavez is paying off handsomely. Uribe is received warmly everywhere he goes. In fact, never has Uribe been received better anywhere since he has become president of Colombia. Big mouthed Chavez insults, very ill timed with the Uribe trip, ensure that. Even a surprisingly sympathetic article of the BBC (for Chavez and the FARC, not Uribe) cannot manage to hide the success that Uribe is meeting in Europe. Maybe the BBC has no hostage of its own in Colombia? Maybe they missed the treatment inflicted on FARC hostages?

But Chavez is getting hits form other quarters too. Once thought a staunch Chavez supporter, Ecuador's Correa has announced that he will have nothing to do with the Colombia Venezuela conflict. Apparently it seems that Correa knows how to read maps and realizes that tiny Ecuador Northern neighbor will be big Colombia until the end of time.

And to add insult to injury, Alan Garcia is received in grand style by Spain where he surely loved to point out that Peru's International reserves, without high oil prices, have nothing to envy the Venezuelan dilapidated ones. The transformation of Garcia from enfant terrible in the 80ies, to respectable and succesful statesman is stupendous. We need not worry this happening to Chavez.

-The end-

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