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Venezuela: Chavez' diplomacy causes impasse in Spain

By Aleksander Boyd

London 23.11.04 | The monarchy refused to meet with Chavez. Industrialists were stood up by the Venezuelan pariah, who preferred instead to spend some quality time with Zapatero. It's all about winning hearts and minds, isn't? Or is it perhaps about capitalising on the precious occasion so that the socialist government headed by Zapatero can score some brownie points against Aznar et al?

Truth is, Zapatero seems to have fell for Chavez' charm, which comes this time round in the form of a deal to build a couple of frigates in the shipyards of Sestao to equip the Venezuelan navy and the granting of energy contracts. Chavez, who's got a truck load of money nowadays, wants to enlist Zapatero in his crusade against the USA. And Zapatero, as a good old leftist in power, seems to be quite content on going ahead with the farcical show put up by Chavez, 'bringing' some needed contracts to the region. In that way Patxi Lopez, PSOE's candidate running for the Basque Country's office of the Lehendakari (Chief of the Basque government), benefits nicely from the strategic alliance between Zapatero and Chavez.

The Spanish energy company REPSOL, is meant to be favoured as well with other saucy gas contracts with Venezuela.

But the cherry on the cake has to be Chavez' usual verbal incontinence. He declared, in a straight face, that Aznar's government took part in his brief ousting in 2002. The statements generated a flurry of condemnations from the Partido Popular (PP) leadership. Moreover, PP's president Mariano Rajoy, requested publicly for the Zapatero's administration to ask Chavez to retract his allegations before leaving Spain.

One has to guess that the PP will have to patiently sit and wait for Chavez' apologies... On a different note, the Senate's agenda was modified; Parliamentary and Foreign Affairs commissions were to meet with Chavez and insider's gossip has it that Chavez refused to have such rendezvous for some of the Senators were going to confront and scold Chavez with issues such as the Gag Law, the new Penal Code and so on.

As his master Fidel, Chavez only talks in secure environments. Such a tough revolutionary, isn't he?

Addendum

Whilst this farce goes on in Spain, the regime has just fabricated a case against Ivan Simonovis, whose crime appears to have been to warn people, back in April 11 2002 not to go to Miraflores, for their security could not ge guaranteed. Lawyer Antonio Lopez Castillo, suffered tougher luck; the official version has it that he was involved in the bombing of prosecutor Anderson. His driving of a purported stolen vehicle, draw the attention of the investigative police who happened to be driving around when they spoted Lopez Castillo, after a gunfire exchange Lopez Castillo was killed and two police officers were injured. Sudden raids to his mother's house (former COPEI Senator Hayde Castillo) and office ensued, spearheaded by Minister of Interior Jessy Chacon in person.

Brutal repression and State terrorism, dear readers, have descended over Venezuela.



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