Monday, November 14, 2005

Nov 14/05 - On why Chávez went Fox-hunting: so much closer to the real target

Hugo Chávez is a master at luring his prey

PMBComment: Venezuela and Mexico opted to “downgrade” the level of its diplomatic relationship as a result of a deliberate and garish provocation by Hugo Chávez. Calling President Fox “the empire’s puppy” was bad enough once…but to do it again after the Foreign Ministers had inked a sort of cease-fire is calculated and reckless warmongering. This is indeed a rude awakening for Mexico’s semi-comatose government.

After years of gleefully neglecting Chávez (how can one ever forget Mexico’s lackluster participation in the Group of Friends of then “marooned” Secretary General Gaviria or Foreign Minister Derbez’s feeble – and utterly futile - appeal to Chávez just last week “please remember we condemned the coup against you”) Mexico has now been lured by Chávez into a situation – a trap - that can potentially benefit Chávez in the eyes of millions of Mexicans – in both Mexico and the US. Meddling in Mexico’s political arena has been a long dream of his mentor Fidel Castro, and true to form Chávez has just inserted himself smack in the middle of that country’s uninspiring political scene.

As he has done so often with the opposition in Venezuela, he has picked the subject, the place, the time and the intensity of the battle. Once again he aspires to fight as “victim” and not as aggressor. Those who have dismissed, or chastised, Chávez’s opposition for seeking the early exit of this nasty charlatan, now have the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of the non-stop abuse he has heaped on millions of Venezuelans. Time and time again, Mexico stood by as if democracy, freedom, human rights and prosperity were not shared aims of all democratic citizens and government in the region. Hiding behind its “traditional” (PRI-inspired) non-intervention policy to skirt its duty as one of the emerging democracies in the region, Mexico has now been gored by a devilish leader hell-bent on creating chaos. Hopefully the political establishment in Mexico will band together and face this challenge united. Chávez might seem to be after Fox, but in reality he is after the whole enchilada. Mexico is close enough to the U.S. for Chávez to dream of finally drawing President Bush into a “mano a mano” – a trap once more - the White House has adroitly avoided for the last three years. PMB