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Be a Man! Hugo Chavez!

Posted By Ray Walser On February 24, 2010 @ 1:00 pm In International | Comments Disabled

Hugo Chavez [1]

The buzz in Latin America was the February 22 shout-fest in Cancun, Mexico [2] between Colombia’s pro-American leader Alvaro Uribe and Venezuela’s populist, anti-American president Hugo Chavez.  The showdown erupted during a private luncheon for Latin American and Caribbean presidents gathered to discuss [without the U.S. or Canada present] a framework for Latin American unity and an “alternative mechanism” to the ailing Organization of American States.

According to well-placed leaks, the showdown began when President Uribe raised the topic of Venezuela’s commercial blockade of Colombia, imposed after Colombia signed a defense accord with the U.S.  Uribe compared Venezuela’s actions to U.S. trade restrictions on Cuba.

Chavez responded with a paranoid tirade claiming Uribe was behind assassination plots against him and rose to leave.

At this point Uribe retorted: Be a man [3]! These issues are meant to be discussed in these forums. You’re brave speaking at a distance, but a coward when it comes to talking face to face.

Chavez responded: Go to hell!

The less-than-diplomatic outburst recalled the 2007 Ibero-American Summit when Spain King Juan Carlos told Chavez to “shut up” [4].

The confrontation appears to have galvanized the leaders to press for a fresh attempt to mediate the dispute.

Uribe’s readiness to resist Chavez’s terrorism [5], cooperate fully with the U.S. in the fight against the drug trade [6], and push for the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement [7] show why he is popular in Colombia,  widely respected abroad, and frequently maligned by his enemies..

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/24/be-a-man-hugo-chavez/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/chavez_081103.jpg

[2] shout-fest in Cancun, Mexico: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/22/colombia.venezuela.summit/

[3] Be a man: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8529859.stm

[4] Chavez to “shut up”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Kzbo7tNLg

[5] Chavez’s terrorism: http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2010/pdf/bg_2362.pdf

[6] U.S. in the fight against the drug trade: http://www.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/upload/wm_2592.pdf

[7] U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement: http://www.heritage.org/Research/TradeandForeignAid/upload/bg_2129.pdf

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