Friday, April 15, 2005

Venezuela Watch: Part 2

Here is a follow-up to my earlier post. Barcepundit has published a number of updates on the topic of Spain's arms sales to Venezuela. They are as follows:This last item may suggest a possible motive for the sales. One wonders if the motivation for the purchase is other than Fidelito's "Workers of the World - Unite!" aspirations. CaribPundit suggest that a more immediate motivation may be lebensraum, when she asks, "Why does Venezuela want a million-man army again?" EU Referendum points to The American Spectator and VCRISIS where we find:
  • From The American Spectator:
    President Chavez may be a thuggish autocrat, but he isn't stupid enough to use chemical or biological weapons against American civilians, at least directly. He may see them as insurance against the possibility of an American invasion; however, the United States demonstrated in Iraq that threats of chemical retaliation will not deter us should we decide to invade.

    A more likely scenario is the use of these WMD's for international extortion against South American governments. Chavez's alleged links to Colombia's narcoterrorist FARC and to Evo Morales's cocaleros in Bolivia suggest he could find a vector for the weapons should he need one. The implicit threat of arming insurgent groups with WMD's may compel these governments -- especially the precarious democracy in Bolivia -- to accommodate Venezuela's policies or to reject ours.
  • From VCRISIS:

    This is all of course a textbook strategy for autocratic regimes: since personality cults, fear and propaganda can only carry you so far, you need to create the external enemy in order to reinforce the support of the loyalist and keep on your side those that are doubters because of the lack of accomplishments and progress by the Government. These strategies have been clearly posed by Sakharov and recently presented in clear form in Sharansky's "The case for democracy", a must read for anyone that believes in freedom, democracy and human rights.

    But Venezuela is becoming increasingly a militaristic country, run by an autocrat who now controls all of the structures of the state, including the military, who wants to merge the population with the Armed Forces and who finds glory in the bloody days of the beginning of the Republic, who talks about "the civic military unit, forming citizen soldiers and soldiers who are citizens...people and soldier, soldier and people, you are the most sublime expression of the civic-military fusion which today becomes the strongest column of the Bolivarian Venezuela". Who talks about sovereignty or death, who calls traitors those who do not understand the meaning of the newly created reserves. Yes, Venezuela enters deeper into the territory of Chavez' folly today, that project that may irreversibly ruin this country for decades to come, whose only objective is to preserve this madman in power.

Latin American Fidelista hegemonist and megalomaniacal "Ruler for Life"? If it's any comfort, Jimmy Carter assures us it was a fair election. (Read Democracy Venezuelan Style.)