Just finished reading an interesting analysis of the “near-abroad” region and how Venezuela in particular could be setting itself up for a confrontation with the US.
Venezuela is the 4th largest supplier of oil to the US. Almost equal to Saudi Arabia. Yet, President Bush and Hugo Chavez don’t exactly see eye to eye on things… Chavez likes to hang out in Cuba… Bush would rather support a coup in Venezuela.
Check out this very interesting analysis of how Iraq has distracted and pre-occupied US Foreign Policy so much that it is leading to startling happenings closer to home.
Still, the escalating tussle with Venezuela is but the tip of the near-abroad iceberg. Just last week, for example, with Secretary of State Rice in Latin America and lobbying hard, the Organization of American States elected a Chilean socialist, Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza — the very candidate she had lobbied against (until the last second) — to be its secretary general. “It is the first time in the organization’s history,” reports Larry Rohter of the New York Times, “that a candidate initially opposed by the United States will lead the 34-member regional group.” As a candidate, Insulza “not only favored steps to bring Cuba back into the organization but also had the support of Mr. Chávez.” Call it a sign of changing times.
He shares an interesting conclusion with the editor of War in Context:
People power’s a fine thing for shaking up Eastern Europe and the Middle East, but as it spreads to the Americas, it could be coming uncomfortably close to home. What if people power caught on in the United States? What if accountability was being demanded not just from governments in Kiev and Beirut but also those in London and Washington? The bread and circuses approach to democracy has so far been an effective guarantor of political apathy across America, but what if Americans in large numbers were to one day wake up from their political slumber and demand that they too deserve a truly representative government?
(Cheers: War in Context)