Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More Russia and Latin America

If you want to read Pravda's account of Vladimir Putin's trip to Latin America, be prepared for some serious hyperbole.  It self-consciously tries to rival George W. Bush.  And really, why does anyone want to do George W. Bush even worse than George W. Bush?

The tangible results of the visit of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Latin America were, in a word, massive, the first concrete step in laying the cornerstone of a new geopolitical order based on multilateral values, a New World Order which spells a clear message to the USA: either you are with us, or against us. 

It goes on to bash Brazil and make the point that large-scale weapons sales and oil agreements mean that Venezuela and Russia are Masters of the Universe.


Anonymous,  9:14 AM  

OMG! It even uses some of the same cowboy phrases! Once was bad enough! Does the world really need to go through that again?
Hugo and his compadres need to stop tweaking the nose of their northern neighbor and cool the rhetoric. It is not helpful to improving hemispheric relations and only poisons the water when you really need to accomplish something. It sounds good in the "No Girls Allowed" Tree House Clubhouse but it is really counterproductive.
Come on, guys! You should have outgrown this many, many years ago. Putin is just using you to misdirect his home crowd because he has too many unpleasant things going on right now. He is poison.

leftside 3:35 PM  

The "either you are for us or against us" is quite clearly self-referential - meant for irony. The only reference to Brazil is in that they caved to Washington and canceled the Super Tucano jet order for Venezuela. That indeed was a despicable, craven act that deserves condemnation. The 31 deals signed were indeed massive in scope - $5 billion.

What is clear now is what most analysts were trying their best to deny before - that Russia clearly sees a strategic alliance with Cuba, Venezuela and the ALBA countries as in their interest - as is acting on that. This is what scares our host into making banal, misleading posts like this. And I wonder what his "Masters of the Universe" language is if not hyperbole.

Anonymous,  8:43 PM  

Gee, if I didn't know better, I'd complain about the strategic intervention of Russia in American affairs. Oh, no, Venezuela and the sovereign countries of ALBA are free to make alliances with whom they wish. Colombia, on the other hand, is not. Leftyside, gimme a break.

leftside 1:24 AM  

Anon, first off, what "intervention" by Russia are you referring to? And if you are trying to compare the transparent buying and selling of arms (among many things) to a secret agreement allowing another country access to a number of military bases against the will of the region, then I think you are up the wrong tree.

Colombia is free to be the US lackey if it wants. The US is free to stay on the sidelines of Venezuelan oil. See how far it gets em.

Anonymous,  5:53 AM  

No, lefty, I'm just asking for the same treatment of Colombia's sovereign right to decide how to form alliances as you grant Venezuela and ALBA countries. Since you describe Colombia as a "lackey" and imply neighboring countries should have some say, I just want equal treatment when Venezuela forms its alliances with Iran, Russia or the Sudan. Either sovereignty means something or it doesn't.

leftside 5:18 PM  

Anon, you can't ask for the same treatment for 2 qualitatively different things.

Anonymous,  12:40 AM  

Hey Lefty--

Sovereignty means many things including the right to borrow money from other countries, purchase weapons, conduct foreign policy, provide for your defense and to form alliances (military, political economic or ideological). Two sovereign countries can freely form a bases agreement without the consent of neighbors. Apart from the wisdom of how wisely a country exercises its sovereignty, Venezuela and Colombia both deserve the same respect. Due to your political biases you are unable to recognize that sovereignty is not a one-sided principle but a reciprocal one. More is the pity.

leftside 6:53 PM  

No one is saying Colombia can't legally invite whomever it wants into its bases, as part of secretive military agreements. The region just asked for some pretty basic assurances and was denied that courtesy. Agreements between Russia and Venezuela, on the other hand, are out in the open so there is no need. Hence the different reactions in the region.

Anonymous,  1:43 PM  

Yes, the entire region (of course you really must mean ALBA) is living in terror of these "secretive" bases. Funny thing though, Venezuela's "open" diplomacy with countries like Russia and Iran inspires so much confidence in the region that Brazil recently cancelled a contract for warplanes. Lefty, watch what they do, not what they say.

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