This Friday (last)*, the Venezuelan President returned home having rubbed shoulders with half a dozen experienced dictators in Central Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe, among themAl Gaddaffi, Ahmadineyad, Assad, and Putin, not to mention warm encounters with Al Bashir and Mugabe.
During his tour Hugo Chávez also proclaimed the destruction of the single-pole world and the creation of a new world system promoted by Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Belarus, Italy, and Russia. This comes as no surprise from a president who has the American Continent’s oldest dictator, Fidel Castro, as his mentor.
Moreover, he arrived with Russia’s offer to sell his highness as many weapons as he wants, at the cost of putting Venezuelans into hock.
That is why it does not seem logical to the democrats of the world that Spain’s King and its President gave him such a warm welcome, particularly since the stopover was unexpected and at Chávez’s request.
That raises the question, what are José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and King Juan Carlos hoping to achieve with a president who had just given proof of his relations with heads of government whose common denominator is that of having perpetuated themselves in power at the cost of their peoples’ blood and tears and of his support of international terrorism? Did they forget about ETA?
If one were to apply common logic to the conundrum, one could say that, as a head of government, Zapatero gave preference to the economic and trade interests of his people and the defense of the hundreds of Spanish citizens and dozens of Spanish companies resident in Venezuela that have been subjected to harassment by the Chávez administration.
However, Zapatero should know better, as he is already familiar with this character and with the ease with which he gives and goes back on his word, making it difficult to set any store by his promises, particularly when they do not fit in with his militaristic, hegemonic agenda. It could be that, if he manages to make some progress in his proposal to serve as mediator in the confrontation between Chávez and Uribe, Zapatero will, at some point, realize the true nature of the scorpion, and take note of the lesson offered by those who have already been stung. Zapatero needs to be warned that, in Chávez’s upside down world, fostering closer ties with his government could turn out to be a boomerang and not a benefit for Spanish citizens living in Venezuela, their property or their investments.
But it is difficult to understand Zapatero’s complaisance with a head of government who has not only just defended Iran’s nuclear program but also told Le Figaro that Iran would help Venezuela to develop a civil nuclear program that includes the construction of a nuclear town. If true, this violates Resolution 1,737 of the UN Security Council, approved in December 2006, which explicitly bans Iran from exporting material from its nuclear program and all UN member states from buying it. Besides, the resolution is the first one to establish sanctions for offenders. The gravity of this situation was made quite clear by the immediate reaction of France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which warned Venezuela that accepting nuclear technology transfer from Iran was a clear violation of the UN’s decisions.
And while that was today’s issue for discussion, we wish to remind our readers that, this week, another political prisoner was sent to jail, number 42: the young student Julio César Rivas.
*( PW Editor note)
VenEconomy has been a Venezuela's leading specialized publisher on financial, political and economic data since 1982. VenEconomy's Points of View on the issues of the day, as seen by VenEconomy during the last week. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by VeneEconomy on 09/11/2009. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers .
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