As usual President Chavez stepped on some steps during the bioregional south American-Arab summit. First, apparently President Lula was quite unhappy that Chavez was taking the limelight of his summit by violently attacking the US, with Chavez quoting Mao and Ho Chi Min.
But where the verbose President really ran into problem was in doing exactly what he criticizes everyone for, involving himself with sovereign issues of another country. He called for an end to the US occupation of Iraq right under the nose of Iraqi President, which clearly did not sit well with Iraqi President Talabani who immediately asked to speak again asking Chavez to rectify his words. Chavez was so undiplomatic that his words came right after Talabani’s explanation to the summit of what is happening in Iraq. In the end Chavez had to give in and agree on the final declaration supporting the Government of Iraq, which, of course, favors the US occupation until they can control the situation better.
And to make him even more popular among his Latin American peers, a Mexican newspaper is reporting that funds that came from the Mayor’s office in Mexico City were triangulated via Havana to Venezuela, so that Chavez could purchase AK-47’s for a Mexican guerrilla group. According to that report, the funds were diverted without the knowledge of Mayor Lopez Obrador, the leading Candidate for the Mexican presidency in 2006. The weapons went to the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario, Mexico’s best organized guerrilla group in Mexico.
Thus, Chavez graceful diplomacy continues to make friends all over the place.