Tuesday, November 15, 2005

17 Nov. UPDATE: Mexico and Venezuela Posture, Recall Ambassadors

Molten Eagle believes that Chavez has been encouraged by growing Venezuelan ties with China. While the story below is reported as a minor, diplomatic quarrel, the proximity of the two nations to a superpower suggests more serious implications that clearly threaten hemisheric tranquilty later. Raising the stakes is Taiwan, whose autonomy the USA supports to China's intense irritation. Were China to garner a foothold in Mexico, Canada, or South America, the current Taiwan standoff could become weakened in China's favor. More: Venezuela, The 51st State? - Why Chavez Suspects U.S. Invasion

UPDATES (17 NOV): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is shrugging aside calls to end a war of words. Also, here, (14 NOV) Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro lay a trap for Mexico
A Mexico in a state of incremental instability has direct geopolitical implications for the national security of the United States. This is the real objective of Chavez’s extraordinarily personal attack against Fox. If Mexico destabilizes politically, the U.S. government’s focus in Latin America would shift decisively to Mexico, where an unstable political environment or unfriendly government would affect sensitive bilateral economic, migration and security issues that concern Washington very much.

In another episode of blustering to cement popular support in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez used his Sunday radio and TV show to warn Mexico's President, Vicente Fox: "Don't mess with me, sir, because you'll get stung." President Hugo Chavez accused Mexican leader Vicente Fox of being a "puppy" of President Bush. Fox backed a U.S.-backed proposal for free trade, which Chavez pronounced dead.

Threatening Mexico would expel the ambassador if Venezuela didn't apologize by midnight Monday, Fox spokesman Ruben Aguilar later offered that Venezuela could win over Mexico with conciliatory gestures and statements. Fox, however, told CNN an apology would be necessary, "because (Chavez) used very strong words."

Both countries have now recalled their ambassadors, rather than apologize. Business and cultural relations still remain intact. Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto D. described Chavez's statements as "truly infuriating," but insisted that, "the historical friendship between our country and the nation of Venezuela continues unaltered."


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