Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chávez and Santos

Hugo Chávez says the election of Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia would be a security threat not only to Venezuela, but also to Ecuador and Nicaragua.  He says Santos wants to bomb Venezuela.  In publicly entering the middle of a neighbor's presidential election in hope of swaying it, he is following the model of the United States, which generally made candidates stronger recently in places like Bolivia, El Salvador and Nicaragua (or even, way back in the 1940s, in Argentina) by criticizing them.  Santos should publicly thank Chávez for going after him.


Mike Allison 10:09 AM  

While I don't think that we know for sure, US interference in Salvadoran elections (prior to 2009) did generally have its intended effect. People were convinced that a vote for the FMLN would hurt relations with the US and lead to a decrease in trade and remittances.

The FMLN would have lost the presidential election in 2004 anyway, but US "threats" (particularly from congressmen) seems to have worked.

leftside 5:28 PM  

These are not crazy remarks, despite your best efforts. In fact Santos admitted they were a true assessment of his policies the next day. In thumbing his nose at international law (which bans cross border raids, except where an actual imminent threat is likely), Santos is the one following the lead of the United States. And I highly doubt there is anyone in Colombia who did not know what Santos and Chavez thought of each other til now, and therefore would be influenced by this.

Tambopaxi 5:49 PM  

I agree with you, Greg. Chavez is doing Santos a campaign favor just as the U.S. Ambassador did for Morales in his Presidential campaign a few years back.

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