Thanks to Narcosphere, the publication of Narconews, we learn of the following amusing editorial in the Financial Times:
Above all, the US needs to respond seriously to the rise of Mr Chávez. At home, the president has built support on a series of popular social programmes, funded with the proceeds of high oil prices. Abroad, Mr Chávez has .... bought up chunks of Argentine debt and despatched cheap oil to a dozen needy Caribbean countries. Ecuador could also be set to benefit from Venezuelan largesse, if a bond sale goes through as expected. And during a visit this week Mr Chávez will offer shipbuilding contracts to Argentina and funds for Uruguay's state-owned airline.
This sounds really dangerous! Doing what voters want and stabilizing rather than wrecking regional economies!
The unconscious irony is, I am sure, lost on the editors.
As Narcosphere adds
, "The editor's [sic] concede that, on a regional basis, coca eradication efforts have failed as decreases in cultivation in Colombia have led to increased cultivation in Peru and Bolivia -- just as the CIA predicted it would in a September, 2000 report uncovered by Narco News's Jeremy Bigwood. They also express concern that the future of Plan Colombia may be threatened by growing Congressional concerns in the U.S. against the blatant hypocrisy of Colombia's new paramilitary law which allows death squad leaders implicated in drug trafficking to get off with a slap on the wrist, hold on to their wealth, maintain their terror networks, and escape extradition by making vague confessions and accepting light prison sentences."
You. Can. Not. Make This. Stuff. Up.
Bigwood's piece is worth reading
, by the way. A quick skim reveals that Columbia's rebels, the FARC, have SAMs.