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November 14, 2005

Venezuela's Chavez Even See's Mexico As An Enemy

Topics: International News

After all, you only threaten your enemies, right?

On a TV show, Chavez recalled a folk song from Venezuela's cattle-raising plains about a thorn, saying it seems appropriate for Mexico's Presidant Vincente Fox since "you're a man of horses." After reciting the lyrics, Chavez said: "Don't mess with me, sir, because you'll come out pricked," an obvious threat. Now, Fox is firing back and says it will withdraw its ambassador and sever diplomatic ties with Venezuela if that country's president, the doesn't apologize.

Meanwhile, Venezuela has offered no apologies as top diplomats have held talks on the issue. Chavez's latest accusations showed he had no intention of backing down.

He said Fox and other leaders who sought to back the free trade plan "weren't able to achieve their plan" at the summit.

The US-proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which aims to create the world's largest free trade zone, was first proposed in 1994 and was supposed to have been finalised in January but has been stalled amid deep divisions in Latin America.

Chavez argues the plan would help big US companies at the expense of Latin America's poor and has instead proposed a "Bolivarian Alternative" pact based on socialist principles.

The Venezuelan leader said US President George W Bush left the summit "with his tail between his legs". He called Bush "Mr Danger" and said he stands for "false democracy, democracy of the elites".

In a programme that lasted about six hours, Chavez also replayed videos of debates in the summit and criticised Peru, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago for favouring the free trade pact.

And the dispute is escalating as Venezuela called its ambassador to Mexico home Monday.

So where is it all going?

Look for Chavez to continue to become a larger problem to peace in the region, particularly in regard to support of terrorism and turmoil between nations of Latin America.

I'm all but certain that it won't be long before we are all looking back and wondering who was "Protecting Hugo Chavez, and why, and why did the Bush administration fail to confront the (then) growing threat in Venezuela even as Hugo Chavez expand(ed) his influence by buddying up with terrorists?

Additional reading: Comandante Chavez's Friends

Hat tip - Harry Owens

Posted by Richard at November 14, 2005 5:48 PM

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