We'll need a little history and current affairs.
Zero Hour in Bolivia: What to Watch for Today
In June 2005 Carlos Mena was pushed out and Vaca Diez attempted to take over. Was thwarted.
Traditional Parties in Bolivia Define Their Candidates
Vaca Diez, head up the Bolivian upper house, tried to engineer a takeover of Carlos Mena's presidency, but was stopped by the massive disapproval of Bolivians. Bolivia has general elections planned for December 2005. Bolivia borders Paraguay.
Argentine Kirchner Fires Central Bank Official Branda
Branda charged with taking bribes as a senator in 2000. Too bad they don't say who was on the offer side. The bribes were in regard to anti-labor legislation. Catch a whiff of IMF?
Chavez Uses Nation's Oil to Extend Regional Clout 11 August 2005
Venezuelan President Chavez recently went to Uruguay and Brazil, pushing for full Venezuelan membership in Mercosur. In June 2005 Chavez struck agreeements with 14 Caribbean countries to supply (cheaper) oil. This followed the March purchase of $500 mil Argentine bonds. Caracas is expected to also buy $300 mil in Ecuadorean bonds.
Oh, and Chavez, Uruguayan President Vazquez, and Argentine President Kirchner, and Castro are engaged in a cooperative effort to create a South American 24-hour television station: Telesur.
Uruguayan President Pushes for Closer Ties with China
Vazquez favors closer ties in trade and culture with China.
[Ed. note: Sure, and if political and military alignments happen, that's just gravy.]
Rumsfeld Says Outsiders Affecting Bolivia
[Ed. note: Not least, apparently, are Rumsfeld and the United States.]
Rumsfeld points a finger at Venezuela and Cuba. Supposedly radical Islamic groups are getting financing from drug traffickers in the South America tri-border of Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia.
How dare they steal a page from our playbook!
Venezuela Opens Oil Office in China
In a nutshell, Chavez is pursuing closer relations with China, India, and other Asian countries to secure oil markets. To replace their current no. 1 customer: United States.
New Target Date for EU-Mercosur Accord: May 2006
The agreement would be political as well as commercial.
In rebuttal, we have CAFTA.
The signatories are:
And all freely entered into, of course.
If Washington is hewing to the timetable, they should start crying about encirclement just about any day now.