Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Statesmanship, or Musical Theater?

Jacques Chirac and Hugo Chavez met and affirmed their "common vision" and pledged to forge even deeper ties:

PARIS (AFP) - Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Jacques Chirac of France met in Paris and agreed to further develop their already close ties.

The meeting, which officials of both countries hailed, was expected to raise hackles in Washington, which is particularly at odds with the leader of oil-rich Venezuela.

During their hour-long meeting "the two presidents examined bilateral economic relations and in particular looked at issues concerning, oil, energy, infrastructure and tourism," Chirac's spokesman Jerome Bonnafont said.

"They decided to set up an organised mechanism for dialogue to further develop economic and industrial cooperation between the two countries," he added.

It was the third time the two had met this year.

French oil giant Total has a strong presence in Venezuela and could double its output from 200,000 to 400,000 barrels a day after several billion dollars were invested, Chavez said in Paris in March.

Venezuela currently produces 3.1 million barrels of oil a day. It is the world's fifth largest exporter and the only country in Latin America to be a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel.

Half of its production goes to the US, providing 15 percent of that country's consumption.

We get 15% of our oil from Venezuela, and yet, we have all but ghettoized Hugo Chavez with our relentless foreign policy assaults on his brutal administration.

And there, in a nutshell, is the difference between the United States and France. France sucks the ass of it's enemies, while the U.S. dares to anger those who it needs.

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