Monday, November 14, 2005


Crazy like a Chavez

Has the silly season become an all-year event? Basic story: Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez disses Mexican president Vicente Fox. Is he crazy? Objectively, the criticism is a bit excessive since Fox has annoyed Bush over border issues, didn't support the invasion of Iraq, and otherwise has not been a "puppy dog," as Chavez suppposedly called him. But the FTAA was something that only elites cared about and all of the activist poor oppose. And Mexico, despite its huge wealth in oil and human intellectual capital has gloomily accepted long term decline rather than demand better treatment from the US. Fox has not acted as a genuine representative for his country. Chavez has. Machismo almost guarantees that the two countries will sever diplomatic relationships, while Fox's ratings will collapse in Mexico. Since the election is on, it's likely that Chavez's goal was to replace Fox with Lopez Obrador. It sounds like Chavez is the Fox. ____________________________ [Note added: Mexican law prohibits a president from succeeding himself. While the statement that "Chavez's goal was to replace Fox with Lopez Obrador" may be literally accurate, it's misleading. Chavez's goal is to replace a PAN government with one that is more likely to be sympathetic to Venezuela. Locking Vicente Fox into a pointless, petty, embarrassing dispute is merely the means to achieve that.]
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