Quico says: Here's an innovative take on the budding Chávez-Medvedev lovematch:
And don't miss Chávez's latest implausible Media Conspiracy Theory, this time blamed for maliciously spreading false reports that he had agreed to host Russian military bases in Venezuela. (In fact, he merely said he'd welcome Russian navy ships to Venezuelan ports with flags and drums and songs, so you can see how that's all different.)
Neither Medvedev nor Chavez were being very direct about why they are deepenig the relationship, and I find myself in disagreement with other analysts who say that it is only about the business deals.
According to some lawyer colleagues I have spoken with in Venezuela, government officials have paid close attention to how Russia acted to protect Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe following a democratic collapse, and it is believed that by extending such favorable energy deals to another state (rather than another private company) that Venezuela is purchasing future political insurance and potential veto in the United Nations.
Russia is not just exporting tanks, jets, and kalashnikovs to Venezuela, it is exporting legitimacy.
The trouble with the conspiracy-theory view of this little fracas is that it wasn't some bastion of imperialist media that got this particular ball rolling, it was Interfax, a Russian news agency with deep ties to the Kremlin.
How do you get around that one? Easy: instead of blaming the organization responsible for producing and circulating the story, you rail against those who saw it on the news wire and - shockingly - thought it was news.
Personally, I'm still puzzling through how you can pick up a wire story "hasta con saña."