June 22, 2007

“Ooh ah, Chavéz no se va!”

“No se va!” – means "[he] won’t go!”: These were the chants in Caracas in 2005 when President Hugo Chavéz Frias faced off a recall referendum which threatened to oust him during his last presidential term, he didn't go then, he is still there (possibly ad-infinitum).

But now he's not going to the presidential party.

On Wednesday the 20th of June 2007, there was some rather strange news. It seems President Chavéz was off to Russia to buy couple of billion dollars worth of armaments from the inscrutable Mr. Putin.

Nothing too strange in that, President Chavéz has bought lots of Kalashnikovs from the Russians before, and the price? Well what does one get for a couple of Billion these days anyway, especially in the rather expensive arms market?

The strange fact about this meeting is it's scheduling! Mr. Chavéz and Mr. Putin shall be having their meeting in Moscow when Mr. Chavéz is supposed to be hanging out with his southern mates, the club members Mercosur: Mr. Da Silva, Mr. Vazquez, Mr. Kirchner and Mr. Duarte.

The thing is he has decided not to come! Worse still he’s holding his own party just days earlier and announcing the Banco del Sur, a major new initiative in Latin America which should have happened decades ago, along with the beginning of the biggest football tournament in Latin America. So not only is Chavéz snubbing his nose at the formal party where he is invited as a guest, he is upstaging Asunción in Caracas as a host :)

It is all a bit of an embarrassing quaff, Mr. Chavéz is expressing his indignation at not being made a full member of the Mercosur club even though he was invited years back and he’s paid his membership fees hundreds of times over.

Where all this will end is anyone’s guess?

The Brazilian Senator who complained that Chavéz should not close down a local Caracas private TV station (RCTV incidentally does not broadcast in Portuguese so it is difficult to see how it was relevant to the Brazilian Senate) was caught with his pants down (and fathering a child with) a private media employee in Brazil. This has reduced his credibility somewhat and means that he may soon be an ex-president of the Senate.

Maybe it is time to make good on Mr. Chavéz invite and remove the “Guest” label on his seat in the club.

Failing that the Club might find itself short a treasurer

Posted by Tony Phillips at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)