Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30/06 - Sobre la ONU-Chile-Venezuela y los EEUU: ¿un soberano error?

La Dama y el Dictador: recordatorio para M. Bachelet

PMBComentario: he leído varias veces esta nota y he llegado a la conclusión que alguien del alto gobierno chileno - con acceso a información privilegiada - esta tratando de influenciar a Michelle Bachelet por medio de filtraciones a la prensa. Esto podría ser indicación que la Bachelet se ha rodeado de una capa de asesores que la están mal asesorando (o bien aplaudiendo su muy errada visión) en el tema de Venezuela. Reportes de Santiago indican una marcada división en el seno del gabinete, y perplejidad por las "ingenuas" declaraciones de la novel Presidenta después de los jugueteos y la risas en Viena.

Chile no puede aspirar a ser tomada en serio si luego de haber buscado la Secretaria General de la OEA, se vuelve defensor a ultranza de quien viola todos y cada uno de los preceptos de la organización. Lo que si puede hacer un país soberano es equivocarse...y eso es lo que concluiremos muy pronto si el viaje a Washington se malgasta en el vano intento de minimizar un problema real y avalar a un anti-demócrata por excelencia. PMB

Rice advierte a Chile sobre su voto en Naciones Unidas

El Nuevo Herald

Estados Unidos ha advertido a Chile que las relaciones entre ambos países sufrirían grave daño si el gobierno de la presidenta Michelle Bachelet vota por Venezuela en la elección de nuevos miembros del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, según una versión publicada ayer por el diario La Tercera .

Las advertencias fueron formuladas en abril al canciller Alejandro Foxley en sus reuniones en Washington con la secretaria de Estado Condoleezza Rice y el subsecretario Roberto Zoellick, dice el diario, que atribuye la versión a fuentes no identificadas de la cancillería chilena.

No hubo un comentario inmediato de la cancillería, cuyas oficinas estaban cerradas ayer, no siendo posible pedir algún tipo de comentario a los funcionarios.

La elección de cinco nuevos integrantes del Consejo de Seguridad se efectuará en octubre, y uno de los asientos será para América Latina, ya que vence el mandato de Argentina.

Los candidatos regionales son Guatemala y Venezuela. Estados Unidos se opone abiertamente a la postulación de Venezuela.

Chile no ha anunciado aún su posición, y dependiendo de lo que haga en los próximos días, el tema podría dominar la agenda de Bachelet en su visita a Washington el 9 de junio. El programa de la visita incluye un almuerzo de trabajo con el presidente George W. Bush.

Según La Tercera , Rice dijo a Foxley que el rechazo de la candidatura del gobierno del presidente Hugo Chávez ''apunta al corazón de los intereses'' de Estados Unidos, y que el gobierno de Bush simplemente no entendería si Chile vota por Venezuela.

''El mensaje fue: toda la agenda bilateral será fácil si Chile no vota por Venezuela, y muy difícil si lo hace'', dice el artículo firmado por el analista Ascanio Cavallo.

Agrega que los planteamientos de Zoellick a Foxley fueron aún más firmes. El segundo hombre del departamento de Estado advirtió que la relación bilateral sería ''decisivamente dañada'' por un voto de Chile a favor de Venezuela.

Señala que Zoellick recordó que él debió convencer a Bush de continuar adelante con el tratado de libre comercio con Chile pese a que el gobierno del entonces presidente Ricardo Lagos se negó a apoyar en el Consejo de Seguridad la invasión de Irak.

El diario dice que el departamento de Estado ''vio con poco agrado los gestos de cariño y las bromas'' de Chávez a Bachelet cuando ambos se encontraron en la reciente cumbre Unión Europea-América Latina en Viena. Durante la sesión para la fotografía oficial del encuentro, se vio a Chávez poniendo sus manos sobre los hombros de Bachelet delante de él, y formularle algunos comentarios risueños al oído.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 17/06 - On Chávez's London show: not all are impressed

The Times' editors are not impressed, join the club!

The Times May 16, 2006

Chav politics

The Hugo Chávez show is bad burlesque

The “private” visit of Hugo Chávez to London has proved enjoyable for those who feared that 1980s nostalgia was not what it used to be. There may be well-meaning souls prepared to view President Chavez with an open mind. According to his promotional material, the Venezuelan leader is all that stands between enlightenment and President Bush inflicting his twisted values (such as democracy, the rule of law and market economics) on the entire world. Señor Chávez, in his spare time, rescues his country’s grateful poor while rekindling a Latin American sense of purpose and identity.

But if it is wise to judge a man by his friends, those inclined to give the visitor the benefit of the doubt might want to reconsider. It was not just the Central Casting collection of faded radicals in his thrall. Having waited since the failure of the Sandinistas to spark the (inevitable) anti-Yanqui revolution two decades ago, their excitement was understandable. Ken Livingstone’s presence added authenticity. It was good to see Harold Pinter there, a man who once had something relevant to say (about Eccles cakes), but a long, long time ago.

More significant than those present were the absentees who would surely have wished to be present at the lionising of the self-proclaimed Anti-Bush. Robert (Mugabe), Kim Jong Il (The Dear Leader) and Muhammad (Ahmadinejad) are comrades who were otherwise engaged. Señor Chávez’ eclectic choice of friends suggests a man so deeply affronted not to have merited inclusion in Mr Bush’s original axis of evil (he is also an enthusiastic defender of Saddam Hussein) that he is keen to create a new club of the touched.

President Chávez demands attention, not just because he can wear a natty suit and, on occasion, employ moderate tones. Because of rocketing prices, Venezuela’s oil revenues have quadrupled since 1998, giving him economic and political clout that he is exploiting with relish. His credentials as a leader of heroic stature would be laughable if not so grave. On his watch, poverty rose as oil prices climbed for the first time since records began. Murder has tripled, making Caracas the continent’s killing capital. His disrespect for property, the rule of law and press freedom is now threatening to infect Bolivia. Corruption is endemic. He may be elected, but he talks of remaining in power until 2031, and is no democrat.

Fortunately, many see through him. Candidates in Peru and Mexico embraced by him have seen their support fall. The President’s next stop is Libya and a meeting with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, a man who abandoned pariah status for something approaching acceptability. Señor Chávez would do everyone a favour if he embarked on a similar personal journey.


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Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15/06 - US Govt. says "Hugo loves terrorists": fact or fiction?

What is so funny Ms. Bachelet?
Is the choice of color a hint?

PMBComment: one can only assume that the US will share with others - including the public - some of the facts that support the - previously leaked - decision of placing Bolivarian Venezuela in the list of the non-cooperative nations in the fight against "terror". The U.S. must stop being a compiler of lists of good and bad guys if it is not ready to prove - beyond reasonable doubt - that its judgment is not political ,or subjective.

While I am ready to believe that Hugo and his cronies provide comfort (and MUCH more) to some real ugly characters, why is it so hard for the super-spy nation of the world to shed some light to support its case? Doing so might be a good move for the U.S. as it seeks to replenish its political credibility to the level of its economic and military might. A juggernaut with a "cry wolf" habit is not a very compelling leader for the trouble times ahead.

Showing some of its factual cards might also help those fighting to disprove recent outrageous (i.e. pro-Chávez) assertions by Ms.Bachelet (the gal from Chile we all assumed knew what it meant to be a democrat) and her soul-mate, Ken Livingstone (the very red mayor of London - for those not paying sufficient attention to Hugo's European dog and pony show).

Message to Washington: We need the facts, not just your conclusions! PMB

PS: since Mr. Chávez today demanded that “genocidal” President Bush be incarcerated for a long list of alleged crimes against humanity, some out there would be more than happy to assume the badlisting as mere spite...and that would be a rather unfortunate interpretation. Read HCh's response to US decision

U.S. Imposes Arms Ban on Venezuela

By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer 39 minutes ago

The United States is imposing a ban on arms sales to Venezuela because of what it claims is a lack of support by President Hugo Chavez's leftist government for counterterrorism efforts, the State Department said Monday.

For nearly a year, there has been a nearly total lack of cooperation with anti-terrorism, Darla Jordan, a State Department spokeswoman, said.

As a result, U.S. sales and licensing for the export of defense articles and services to Venezuela, including the transfer of defense items, will not be permitted, she said.

Venezuela is a major supplier of oil to the United States but relations between Chavez and the Bush administration have sharply deteriorated. Chavez has called Bush a "terrorist," and denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Just last month, the State Department used its annual report on international terrorism to accuse Chavez of having an "ideological affinity" with two leftist guerrilla groups operating in neighboring Colombia, the FARC and the National Liberation Army. The United States considers both to be terrorist organizations.

Earlier Monday, Chavez rejected U.S. claims that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing a nuclear bomb. "I don't believe that the United States or anyone else has the right ... to prohibit that a country has nuclear energy," he said at a news conference in London.

Chavez, an ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro, has repeatedly accused the United States of trying to overthrow him to seize his country's vast oil reserves. U.S. officials have denied that and accused him being a threat to democracies in the region.


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