Brinkmanship: Bush v. Chavez

Remember how I mentioned on Monday that the US has decided to impose weapons sanctions on Venezuela? Well, at the time, Chavez had said he wouldn’t retaliate in any way, but, turns out, not so much.

Even before the ban, Washington had stopped selling Venezuela upgrades for their fleet of 21 F-16 fighter jets, which they had purchased from us. Chavez considers this a violation of the sales contract, thereby nullifying it—including its provision that “requires Venezuela to consult with Washington before transferring any F-16s to another country.”

When the weapons sanctions were announced on Monday, the US State Department “cited Venezuela's close relations with Iran and Cuba, both of which it deems state sponsors of terrorism.” So guess who Chavez is threatening to sell the planes to?

Maybe it’s just all so much posturing. Maybe it isn’t. Suffice it to say that Bush has got to come up with a better way of communicating with Chavez than constantly issuing escalating threats. I know that’s what passes for “diplomacy” in the Bush administration, but maybe after five years, they could mix things up and try something new.

Ha ha—I crack myself up sometimes.

Iran. Latin America. Arms sales. Where have I heard all this before? Oh right. Haunted by the ghost of Ronald Reagan indeed.

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