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Big Dog Diplomacy
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, October 19, 2006

Apparently Hugo Chavez is getting a taste of the consequences of nipping at the Big Dog in the world of diplomacy:
The US has stopped Spain selling 12 military aircraft to Venezuela by refusing to allow American military technology to be used in the planes.

Venezuela planned to buy the aircraft from the Spanish company Eads-Casa but US determination to prevent Hugo Chávez building up his armed forces wrecked the deal, according to the deputy president, José Vicente Rangel.

George Bush's administration claims President Chávez, an ally of Fidel Castro, is a destabilising force in Latin America. The US imposed an arms ban on Venezuela in May.

Mr Rangel said replacing the US technology with French or Israeli parts had made the €500m (£335m) deal too costly. Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spain's foreign minister, confirmed that what would have been his country's biggest arms deal was now just a sale of naval vessels.

Venezuela's decision to drop the order for 10 C-295 transport planes and two CN-235 patrol planes came the day after Spain declined to back its effort to be a temporary member of the UN security council.
My guess is it really wasn't "too costly" (given his oil revenues and the fact that he paid off Argentina's loan to the IMF), but those parts made by the "joooos" might have put him in bad stead with his Arab buddies who are, in fact, backing his run for the temporary UN Security Council seat.

And that's gone real well too, hasn't it?

Seemingly hopelessly deadlocked with Guatemala, the choice of the US, and losing badly in the voting, Venezuela refuses to withdraw (they're blaming the US for their problems by claiming the US is coercing others to vote against Hugo and the boys).

Given what some of have said, though, that's not necessarily the reason:
For those who view the General Assembly chamber as "a very sacrosanct place," Chavez's performance exhibited "bad taste," said Tanzania's ambassador, Augustine P. Mahiga. "It can be a platform for the battle of ideas but not for the vilification of one country."
Yup. Apparently the only smell left at the UN after the speech eau de Hugo.

But again, it's Chavez's fault that he finds himself in that position. As I stated before, his El Diablo speech put him on the radar screen, moving him from gnat status to fly status. With gnats you sort of wave them away, but with a fly, you smack the darn thing. And as evidenced by the UN seat and the airplane sale - or non-sale - the smacking has begun in earnest.

So now, when his ambassador says things like this ...
Venezuela's U.N. ambassador, Francisco Javier Arias Cardenas, characterized the race as a challenge between a fearless champion of the developing world and the world's lone superpower.

"We are not competing with a brother country. We are competing with the biggest power on the planet," he said.
... he can expect to be taken seriously, and, unlike before, suffer the consequences of the fight he's chosen to pick.

Life in the Bigs. Wonder how the rookie likes it so far?
 
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