Sunday 22 December 2002

Bush's Venezuelan Breakdown

With so many in the Bush administration able to speak Spanish, the phrase no aprende ni a palos should have a familiar ring. If not, one need only examine the White House's recent actions regarding Venezuela to understand that the words refer to someone who never learns -- just doesn't seem to get it -- even when hit upside the head with a stick.

How else to explain why, for the second time in eight months, the administration recklessly threw its weight behind the political opposition in that very volatile country at a moment when choosing sides threatened to trigger an explosive reaction.

By forcefully calling on Dec. 13 for early -- and therefore unconstitutional -- presidential elections, the administration jeopardized the delicate balance developing in Caracas after weeks of negotiations between President Hugo Chavez's government and its democratic opponents. Facilitated by Cesar Gaviria, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, the talks have been the best hope for a peaceful solution to a long-simmering crisis.

Full story...

Venezuela - The mystery assassin