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June 22, 2004

The next War?

I've been following closely Venezualan politics for sometime now (the fact that they are the largest producer of oil in the western hemisphere taken over by a pro-Castro madman [redundant] has alway concerned me) so this article from Wapo really disturbs me. Quote from article;

" The Democratic Charter authorizes the OAS [Organization of American States] to respond actively to threats to democracy in the region, ranging from coup d'états to government policies that undermine the democratic process, and it identifies judicial independence as an essential component of a democratic system."

The "threat" to democracy is of course Chavez "loading the bench" of the Supreme court (from 20 justices to 32) and the ability of his coalition to nullify the appointment of sitting judges. Effectively turning the Venezualan judiciary into a complete joke.

Now, I can think of reason that we will and won't go to war;

will- The neocons see "respond actively" as military action
Venezuela is the #7 Opec producer, and #1 in the Americas

won't- Election 3 months following Venezuelan recall

I would favor any strong action being used by the Bush admin short of invasion that would oust Chavez (and the more paranoid left-wingnuts will say that Bush has already tried a Coup in 2002) since, in the short and long term, Chavez is bad for both his country and for the hemisphere as a whole. Maybe we could revive gunboat diplomacy?

Posted by scottm at 10:49 PM