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February 16, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Venezuela faces Al Qaeda threat

Now here is an ironic twist: The government of Venezuela is heightening security measures at its oil installations after Al Qaeda called on its members to attack countries that supply petroleum to the United States. quotes one of Hugo Chavez's military advisers, Luis Cabrera, as saying that it was illogical that "al Qaeda, which is against North American imperialism, would go against a state that is fighting, though in a different way, against that hegemony."

Translation: "Hey, Al Qaeda! We thought you guys were on our side!"

Of course, it is also possible that these statements are merely part of a disinformation campaign, as Venezuela tries to rebut criticism for its march toward dictatorship, as well as its intervention in other countries' politics, as in Bolivia or the CITGO reduced-price fuel oil program in the U.S.

Panama-U.S. trade

Panamanian President Martin Torrijos visited the White House today, and agreed to seek a free trade agreement with the United States. Given the obstructionist posture of the Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress, however, the prospects for such an agreement being ratified are far from certain. See Torrijos is the son of a former left-wing authoritarian leader, Gen. Omar Torrijos, but he has opted for a moderate course since his inauguration in September 2004.

Bush will tour Latin America

UPDATE: President Bush will travel to Latin America from March 8 to 14, visiting Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. I'm a bit surprised he omitted Chile, which is a big success story for capitalism and democracy. Hat tip to Los Blogueros (in Spanish), who is/are not necessarily pleased by the President's outreach to our southern friends: "¡¡¡Preparen las protestas!!!"

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Feb 2007, 11: 23 PM

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The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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