Monday, January 26, 2009

Colombia, Venezuela, and pragmatism

We always hear that negotiating with Hugo Chávez is a sign of weakness, perhaps even stupidity. We also hear that Alvaro Uribe is someone we should admire (shoot, he got a Medal of Freedom and everything) and that he shares our values.

So what do we make of a four hour meeting between Chávez and Uribe, which culminated in a $200 fund to boost trade between the two countries and mitigate the effects of the global economic crisis?

It all comes back to the issue of pragmatism, which the U.S. has a terribly difficult time internalizing.


boz 7:06 AM  

...which the U.S. has a terribly difficult time internalizing.

I'm hoping we can change that to "which the U.S. had a terribly difficult time internalizing." I think we're doing a much better job right now than we were this time last week :)

Greg Weeks 7:15 AM  

Hopefully, though I am sure after eight years it will be hard for me to internalize as well.

Anonymous,  4:56 PM  

Pragmatism in foreign policy is a tricky thing to Americans. What with wierd obessions with democracy, human rights, etc. The Chinese have it right. I'll give them that much.

Greg Weeks 7:39 PM  

True. China is exactly like Venezuela. And/or Colombia.

Justin Delacour 9:17 PM  

What with wierd obessions with democracy, human rights, etc.

Those are the pretenses that we use to rationalize our projection of power, but often our true policy aims have nothing to do with democracy and human rights.

Vicente Duque 7:20 PM  

Prophecy : There will be a lot of Pressure on Obama for Trade and for Protectionism

From the left : The Unions and a Big Public Opinion will put pressure on Obama for Protectionism. They will use beautiful arguments and reasonings about "Human Rights" and caring for workers outside the USA. Lots of Demagoguery, Xenophobia, etc ...

From the Right : The Who is Who of Economic Power and Money in America will put a lot of Pressure on Obama for "Free Trade" agreements. These guys obey their economic interests, but they are better informed on trade and economic prospectives than the General "Populace" and are less prone to Demagoguery and to minimizeing the importance of Trade in Economics.

Colombia is a success case for the Bush Administration. Something in the Showcase of Bush.

Obama began to call the most important leaders of the World. In the third day he only called the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of Colombia.

Before leaving office Bush gave medals to Former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and former Prime Minister John Howard of Australia. He also gave the same medal to the President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe.

I still do not know if Obama is going to push ahead with these Free Trade Agreements, but if he continues calling up Uribe, then the possibilities increase.

More info on my sites :

Vicente Duque

Greg Weeks 7:31 PM  

I am pretty sure that prophecy also includes me winning the lottery. Or meeting a grisly death. I always get them mixed up.

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