and the horse you rode in on.

In a right bit of fair play, the U.S. has decided to play quid-pro-quo and is booting the Venezuelan Ambassador after Venezuelan High Lord, Emperor, Dictator, President Hugo Chavez expelled the U.S. Ambassador to “show solidarity with Bolivia

“He has 72 hours, from this moment, the Yankee ambassador in Caracas, to leave Venezuela,” Chavez told a crowd of supporters. “When there’s a new government in the United States, we’ll send an ambassador. A government that respects Latin America.”

The president said he was making the moves “in solidarity with Bolivia and the people of Bolivia.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday accused the United States of fomenting a coup d’etat by rich eastern department landowners against him, and he called for the U.S. ambassador to leave for allegedly encouraging those protesters.

For the past two weeks, the demonstrators in the country’s richer eastern lowlands have been protesting Morales’ plans to redistribute the country’s natural gas revenues.

My favorite is that not only did we boot their Ambassador, we decide to let the world know that they work closely with drug dealing, kidnapping thugs.

Separately, the U.S. Treasury Department accused Friday two senior Venezuelan intelligence officials — Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios and Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva — and one former official — Ramon Rodriguez Chacin — of assisting leftist rebels in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, with narcotics trafficking.

“Today’s designation exposes two senior Venezuelan government officials and one former official who armed, abetted and funded the FARC, even as it terrorized and kidnapped innocents,” said Adam J. Szubin, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.

What gets me is that Chavez is once again claiming that he has “uncovered details” of a coup to overthrow him that is being backed by the U.S.

He claimed the same thing in 2006 when I was doing a Southcom deployment. He seems to say the same thing quite often. You know what they say about people who repeat things they make up…

After thinking about the comment from Vicente (see below) I thought an update was in order. Why? Because I think Vicente has a great point. Colombia is a country doing great things, and having heard General Monotoya speak, I believe that the future of Colombia and the future of the U.S. are closely intertwined.

South America is a region very close to violent turmoil. Not to disparage the violence occurring there as perpetrated by groups such as the FARC, but it can get much worse. I personally can’t tell if the events of the past few weeks (Russian ships and aircraft going to Venezuela, Ambassador musical chairs (last one standing when the music stops is outta here!)) are a plan on the part of Chavez to assert his power in the region, or a game of chess played by higher powers through the proxy of South America.

Either way, I think we’re standing in treacherous waters. And the unpredictable nature of President Chavez means that the soundings never check with chart.

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3 Responses to and the horse you rode in on.

  1. Vicente Duque says:

    I am a Colombian and I see the strong need of an alliance with the USA. I sincerely think that most Colombians have similar thoughts to mine in respect to the US. Our greatest need is to survive as a nation and to prosper economically, ergo enter the USA.

    Chavez is impossible to understand or predict. He recently suddenly changed course 180 degrees when he talked negatively of the FARC Guerrillas of Colombia. Some days before he had spoken of FARC as “Bolivarian Fighters” and had highly praised these murderous guerrillas dedicated to COCA business and to kidnapping for money and political clout.

    It is very difficult to deal or to have a policy to a guy that is so unpredictable and perhaps is mentally deranged. I would recommend to everybody ( USA and Colombia ) to treat Chavez as a sick man and not as a fool or a clown. Better to avoid offensive language.

    Vicente Duque, Colombia

  2. fastnav says:

    Thanks for your great comments. I totally agree with your stance regarding relations between the US and Colombia.
    I also concur that Chavez is highly unpredictable. Perhaps he is sick. Perhaps he is incredibly smart and it’s all part of one big plan (which I doubt).
    Sorry if you find any of the comments in my entry offensive.

    ~ FN

  3. Vicente Duque says:

    Fastnav :

    Thanks for your interest and attention.

    Let me add a note on Economy :

    I have many Venzuelan friends and other people that come to visit me after being in Venezuela on Business trips.

    They tell me a story of Gifts and Subsidies for Everything in Venezuela. People pay liliputean or tiny absurd bills for everything. Electricity, Gas, Gasoline, Telephones, Water, Transportation, education, health, almost everyting is free or almost gratis in Venezuela.

    Venezuela is a Santa Claus Economy ( Like the Arab Oil Nations ). Loans are given to the laziest and most ignorant and they never pay back.

    Contrast to Colombia, where you have to work like a slave in order to pay bills and everything has an international competitive price. Colombia operates as a NeoLiberal or Very Capitalistic Economy.

    In fact Colombia has been seeking a trade agreement with the USA, but the economic relations with the USA are and will be very tight, even if the US Congress is slow ( because of the US Elections or other political factors ).

    McCain promises this trade Agreement, and Obama will certainly concede to the “Best Ally of the USA in South America” ( according to the US State Department ).

    I see a lot of Economic Troubles for Venezuela in the Future, because the Santa Claus Economy is absurd and unsustainable. And the Future of the Colombian Economy will be better because people develop the “calvinistic” virtues of Hard Work, Economy and Thriftiness. In fact Colombians are stingy and sparing and have to work to death.

    Thanks again friend.

    Vicente Duque

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