The first thing that caught my eyes this morning was news of Hugo Chávez of Venezuela ordering the US ambassador Patrick Duddy to leave Caracas within 72 hours. It would be interesting to know if the the foreign ministry's official notice would be as colorful as their president's public rhetoric. The darn thing is - he's kicking Ambassador Duddy out of Venezuela and the guy is not even in country! I just hate it that folks don't know how to properly expel diplomats anymore. Excuse me, I have to say something loud to his ears here :: Hugo, dear, the next time you expel somebody, make sure the guy is in town so you can publicly drive him out of town. Because that's what gives flavor to this exercise, you twit! And please - listen to your professional diplomats in the ministry, they know how these things are done:: Ok, done with the loud part. * * * Chávez is alleging an American-sponsored coup plot by his military officers but elsewhere has explained his action as taken in solidarity with Evo Knievel's moves in Bolivia. And oh yes, he never did like Ambassador Duddy's ties. I'm sure other reasons will be announced later based on polling numbers, stay tune. What Hugo the Gladiator really wants is attention, big attention in the international arena. He waded into the puddle earlier this year with Ecuador and Colombia, and got miles of press. If Georgia and South Ossetia were not in the other side of the world, he would have jumped up and down on that too (he's hosting the Russians; he's catching up). I don't think he does his antics because his whole ambition in life is to be a pesky fly. I think the real reason has more to do with political self-preservation and expediency. By taking away his people's attention from the real ball, he could be entertaining in the "man of the people" kind of way. His fiery rhetoric provides entertainment in the great Venezuelan coliseum of political theater. And who can blame him? Hugo the Gladiator is a great practitioner of the politics of detraction. With municipal and regional elections coming soon in November, who wants to talk about the country's violent crimes and 30% inflation (the highest in Latin America). Or how about that suitcase with $800,000 discovered in Buenos Aires, allegedly a clandestine payment from Caracas to help Argentina's president, Cristina Kirchner, win an election last year? So, instead he talks about American sponsored coups, paper-kicks the American Ambassador out, delivers some fiery speeches against the "empire," and hope that he has provided enough fodder to get him by until after the next election. What I have yet to figure out is whether he exported his Detraction Doctrine to our shores this year (moose, lipstick, pigs, stinky fish, blah, blah, blah) or if we are simply looking at a copycat.
12 hours ago