Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mexico Vs. Venezuela

Key Players:


Vincente Fox, President

Fox, a former executive, came to power in Mexico as one its first conservative leaders in over a century. After a century of PRI rule, he was elected president under the PAN party (National Action Party). He has tried to work with President Bush on immigration and has openly criticized some US proposals.


Hugo Chavez, President

Chavez, a leftist, came into power in 1998. Chavez, a former soldier, has close ties with Cuba. Considers himself a good friend with Fedel Castro. He has claims he survived a failed coup the Bush Administration backed (White House denies the claim). Chavez himself led two coups against the former Venezuelan government, which landed him in prison for two years.


In the past month, tension between Mexico and Venezuela has reached an all time high. Both countries have pulled out ambassadors out of each others countries. It started when at a recent regional summit; Mexican President Vincente Fox tried pushing a U.S. proposal to introduce a Free Trade Area between all the Americas. The Free Trade Area would knock down barriers between each country and allow for investment in each others markets. The proposal was first introduced in 1994 by former President Clinton. A deadline was set for the end of 2005 for all the countries in the Americas to complete negotiations. The deadline is nowhere near to being met due resistance from Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina.

Fox criticized President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Nestor Kirchner of Argentina for their anti-United States stance at the recent regional summit. Chavez in return called Fox a “lapdog” of US Imperialism and accused Fox of disrespecting him. Chavez then went on to say to Fox, “Don't mess with me, Mister, or you'll get stung.” Mexico demanded an apology and that Chavez’s comments “strike at the dignity of the Mexican people.” Later Chavez blamed the US for the rift between Venezuela and Mexico claiming for their “divisionist policies”. Venezuela vice president told Mexico not to hold its breath for an apology.

If I were placing money on this I would bet on…

I believe that this is just an instance of ideas and leadership styles clashing. With the upcoming election in Mexico, it is likely that former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will win. As a result, Mexico will likely move more to the left like Venezuela. That would relieve tension between the two countries. If push came to shove, Mexico would have the advantage in the conflict. Mexico would quickly allie itself with the United States. Venezuela would probably have to call in Fidel and Cuba.


Blogger Neo said...

Mel -It's all word games. It's not like either of them have an army and the resources to bring it right?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Yeah, I agree. That's why I don't think anything further will happen.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Now the real question is who would win in 10 rounds of bare-knuckle boxing?


1:25 PM  

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