Mar 04/08 | Mr. Chavez's Plan A in Motion: A Truly B&W Affair
PMBComment: many in the world and most within Venezuela's rudderless opposition have claimed that Hugo Chavez is overreaching as a way to distract attention from his ever spiraling domestic troubles. I beg to disagree. What we are witnessing is the accelerated and sloppy execution of Lt. Col. Chavez's Plan A. Fearing that time is no longer on his side, Mr. Chavez, with the help of such bizarre and clueless allies as Mr. Sarkozy, has set into motion the last stage of his grand design. Readers of this commentaries will recognize that over the years I have alerted to the fact that Uribe's head had a reserved place above Mr. Chavez mantelpiece.
The Bolivarian revolution would not be truly Bolivarian if it were not expansive and if it lacked a foreign enemy to justify it. The empire this time is not Spain but the US and it happens to be be as stuck in Colombia as it is in those other terrorist hotbeds Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Chavez is taking advantage of a fully justified raid on derelict Ecuador to go on the offensive. If he does not move fast now he might end up cornered by the type of evidence Colombia, the US and others have always had but had failed to expose publicly. Now that they have the excuse of a few laptops that somehow survived the bombardment of Mr. Reyes command center, the cat is out of the bag and the President many in the world "tolerated" due to the fact that he was "democratically" elected has been exposed as the dangerous fomenter of trouble and funder of terrorist we have always accused him of being.
How will this crisis end? Badly. Mr. Chavez as a mediocre mid-level military officer does not respond well to political incentives o disincentives. His world is black or white. A negotiation is perceived as a defeat and therefore unacceptable. He has now played his final card - move the troops and threaten war - and it points to chaos. His military is so divided that it might precipitate his exit without obvious replacement. The composition of forces and the deep entrenchment of foreign and criminal elements in Venezuela does not bode well for the future governability of Venezuela. This is a foretold ending, one which many in the region, including the Colombians themselves, had chosen to ignore. The OAS, weakened by years of complacency, will try to intervene but it is too late and frightened and formulaic diplomats are no match for the deeds and consequences of the man they have carelessly ignored over the years. PMB
Note: below a good editorial from today's Wall Street Journal
Chávez's 'War' Drums