Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More on Chile

Yesterday’s post on Chile brought up two questions. First, why does the Chilean government seem particularly huffy about the Banco del Sur? Second, what effect will the Chávez-King Juan Carlos spat have on the Bachelet administration?

I would suggest that both have a common thread: Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley. He is certainly more antagonistic toward Chávez than Bachelet, and is now being criticized within the Concertación for openly expressing “solidarity” with the King, Prime Minister Zapatero and former Prime Minister Aznar. (Ironically, the Venezuelan Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs has said Foxley should have more “dignified dialogue”).

I don’t have a good sense of the current dynamics within Bachelet’s cabinet, but it is reasonable to hypothesize that Foxley is a key source of the criticism of the bank. Will this hurt Bachelet? Perhaps indirectly, as a yet another sign that her cabinets (already shuffled twice) are not cohesive and that she lacks control. Let’s wait and see whether Bachelet herself responds.


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