Okay. Now we know who‘s NOT in the know about current events in South America:
“Venezuela and Colombia today open a new epoch in our relations,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez told reporters after a meeting with his Colombian counterpart Álvaro Uribe in Caracas July 11. “I want to make clear that the intention exists to relaunch and fortify relations between Venezuela and Colombia, because these brother nations are destined to be united.” (ABN, July 11) Construction of a rail link through Colombia giving Venezuela access to the Pacific is said to have been discussed in the meeting. Uribe told a recent Colombian cabinet meeting, “President Chávez has offered to make this railway. We are ready to it.” (El Tiempo, July 12)
Uh, weren’t these guys on the brink of war a few weeks ago?
Uh, no. Those tanks were sent to the border to keep Colombia’s civil war from spilling over the brink, like it did in Ecuador. It wasn’t a war footing, it was plain old self-defence. Catch a clue, dude, and quit doing the dog.
This is preparation on Chavez’s part for improved relations with Colombia–a post-paraco Colombia. Uribe, whom the conventionally-wizdumbed Hugh Bronstein of Reuters mischaracterizes as “high-flying”, is actually in a world of hurt. His presidency is crumbling faster than a well-ripened cheese. He’s neck-deep in a scandal about his own fraudulent re-election (which was actually unconstitutional) and the woman who sold her vote to make it happen, has just posed nude–in prison. And several previously-freed FARC hostages are critical of the bogus “rescue” that supposedly catapulted Uribe to 90% popularity (if the Reuters take is to be believed, which I don’t advise.) I’ve already noted that at least one of them wants Chavez brought back as a negotiator; educated guesswork tells me he doesn’t approve of Uribe or his made-for-the-media “rescues”.
BTW, a large number of Venezuelans weren’t entirely happy with the rapprochement; they turned out to protest El Narco’s presence on Venezuelan soil. Come to think of it, most of South America doesn’t care for the little paraco, either. Even Peru, the other US-subservient state in the region, has turned him a cold shoulder over the bombing of Ecuador. So there’s really no flying high for El Narco; he’s already back in free-fall. The only question is when he’ll finally hit the ground and make a greasy little splat.
But Chavecito, operating from a position of hidden strength, has been laying his groundwork cannily, as usual. He knows that Uribe is not Colombia. Which is why he rebuked the protest. It’s not that he loves El Narco either; it’s that he knows that he’s likely very soon going to be dealing with another Colombian president–and with any luck, a better one.
Meanwhile, Chavecito is also preparing for a post-Bush US–which is why he’s been talking more with the US ambassador lately. Whether the latter will change his tack, we don’t know–but we do know that at least one prominent opposition fascist has been trying to suck up to Barack Obama already. Which may well be an indicator of who the likely winning candidate is; they want to get him on side before he takes office. While Colombia got a conveniently timed campaign visit from McCain, El Narco’s ideological allies in eastern Caracas seem to have already understood that the old guy’s gonna lose. Which is not a sign of great astuteness on their part (if they were really smart, they’d try to get some fresh policy ideas of their own, instead of endlessly recycling failed crap from Washington); rather, it’s an indicator of their ability to swing whichever way the wind blows. After all, they’re not exactly keen on non-white leaders. Just like Reuters and WW4R, it seems.