|Protesters in front of Congress today chanted 'Capriles, fascist, imperialist.'|
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Carpiles met with Colombian Pres. Santos today in a politically
|Capriles and Santos shake hands today.|
In Venezuela's recent presidential elections Capriles lost narrowly to Hugo Chavez's chosen succesor, Nicolas Maduro - according to official results. The election contained lots of irregularities. Maduro intially promised a thorough recount. Since then, Venezuela's government has been shaken by a scandal over corruption and infighting, as well as severe shortages of basic goods. A weak Maduro quickly forgot his recount promise.
But Capriles is traveling across the region asking neighboring nations to support a recount. Of course, the Venezuelan government won't do it, and - as justified as Capriles' demand is, it's hard to see what advantage there could be for Colombia in meeting with Capriles. Already, Maduro is threatening to withdraw his government's support from the Colombian government's negotiations with the FARC guerrillas.
Anti-Capriles proesters in front of Congress on Plaza Bolivar chanted 'Capriles, fascist, imperialist.' Perhaps they've forgotten that Chavismo continues selling most of its country's oil to that Great Satan, the United States, and placing its economy into hock to Russia and China. The Chavistas have also eliminated checks and balances and are suffocating independent media. But those are all domestic Venezuelan problems.
But the protesters may have one point: I can't conceive of any reason why Santos met with Capriles - who doesn't have a snowball's chance of getting the election reversed - except as a favor to Washington.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours