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Only the River Plate will separate Bush and Chavez in March

Sunday, February 25th 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is expected in Buenos Aires during the first days of March officially as retribution to the recent hosting of Argentina's Nestor Kirchner with whom several financial, trade, development and cooperation agreements were signed, revealed the Argentine ambassador in Caracas Alicia Castro.

However the Venezuelan leader's trip to Buenos Aires, strangely enough, is expected to coincide with the 36 hours United States president George Bush will be spending in Uruguay on an official state visit. And to avoid all the security problems and announced protests anticipated in Montevideo by Uruguayan unions and radical groups from the ruling coalition, President Tabare Vazquez will be hosting Bush in the presidential ranch in Colonia, (120 kilometers west of the capital Montevideo) which happens to be minutes away from Buenos Aires. Actually Colonia and Buenos Aires are separated by fifty kilometers of water in the wide estuary of the River Plate. Chavez followers in the Argentine capital are programming a huge concentration to repudiate Bush's visit to Uruguay and the Bolivarian revolution leader is expected to be the main speaker of the event. Obviously they will try to attract all the possible coverage from the media that is following President Bush's visit to Latinamerica (Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico). The fiercest critic of the Bush administration and close ally of Iran, (and member of Mercosur) President Chavez repeatedly claims United States is masterminding attempts on his life and is intent on isolating Venezuela to prevent the current process of changes leading to the establishment of a new Socialism. Although economically significant because the Chavez administration among other things, has purchased a new issue of Argentine sovereign bonds, has promised 150 million US dollars to prevent the country's main dairy cooperative from going down, has invited Argentina's government oil company to jointly explore and produce in the rich heavy oil Orinoco basin, the political impact of his visit is even greater. President Kirchner in Venezuela publicly stated that is was a "complete mistake", to believe Argentina or its president was going to act "helping to contain" President Chavez, his regime, his ideas or his policies. This was particularly underlined by Argentine political observers who pointed to the fact that the Bush administration is/was under the belief that Brazil and Argentina are playing a "leading role", helping "to contain" the growing authoritarianism and political extravagancies of Chavez, the latest full member to be incorporated in Mercosur. Argentine ambassador Castro went further and said that President Kirchner has at all times underlined the significance of "peoples right to self determination" and that "Argentina has not been called or chosen to play a contention role" over Venezuela. President Chavez in his constant fight with the Bush administration has repeated in his Sunday talk show "Alo Presidente" that United States "has failed and will continue to fail" in its attempt to derail a government that is determined to follow a "sovereign and independent" policy contrary to the "interests of the empire".

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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