October 12, 2006

Here a coup, there a coup, everywhere a coup coup...

Introductions are in order. Over the next few weeks, international wo/man of mystery JayDee will be posting occassionally on Caracas Chronicles. JayDee breaks the by-now-established CC mold in that s/he is actually IN Caracas. Imagine that! Further details withheld to avoid the wrath of our masters in Langley.

JayDee says: One of the most interesting facets of Chavez's political strategy is to see how he uses the threat of "The Gringos are Coming!" as a weapon. In the last month, he has stated that Zulia police failed to take him out while he was campaigning. He followed that one up a few days latter with a bizarre claim that his spy in the white house has informed him that George W. has sworn to assassinate Hugo before leaving office in 2008.

From a political standpoint - It's a brilliant maneuver as slick and dark as anything Karl Rove or Dick Cheney have ever dreamt up. Chavez is constantly putting Rosales on the defensive while simultaneously linking him with arguably the most unpopular gringo in Latin America since at least Ronald Reagan. Most recently, the Chavez administration has been talking up the imminent U.S. backed coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia, and one has to wonder what the ulterior motive is here. We have all debated the possibility of the U.S. invading Venezuela, a prospect I happen to find very, very unlikely. But with Iraq going down the drain, Iran holding itself proudly in defiance of the U.N., and North Korea going nuclear, it seems almost ludicrous that the C.I.A would be working overtime to bring about Evo's downfall.

On the other hand, Morales has been facing a number of protests in country from what should be the his most rock solid constituency.

Is Hugo simply trying to show his fellow revolutionary how to discredit the opposition?

Personally, I have much more faith in Evo than I do Hugo. But it will be interesting to watch and see if he starts to fall in line with Chavez's scare tactics.