Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fresh Survey Numbers from Venezuela

A survey by PS&B Associates gives Hugo Chavez a vote intention of 50% against 37% for main contender Manuel Rosales.

However, similar research conducted by local firms IVAD and Datanalisis give Chavez a vote intention of 76.9 and 58.2% respectively.

Distance between Chavez and his contender is reducing but not to the level needed by Rosales. Elections are scheduled for December.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who will yell louder, AMLO or Fox?

President Fox will not lead Mexico’s Independence Day ceremony from the traditional setting of El Zocalo square, in Mexico City. Instead, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), the leftist presidential candidate who hasn’t accepted the formal results of the recent electoral process will perform his own “Grito de Dolores” ceremony at El Zocalo.

The Senate asked Fox to move the ceremony out of El Zocalo to avoid violence. This will likely make look the executive weak and might inject badly needed momentum to AMLO’s resistance. It will all depend on the media coverage and the way both leaders and president elect Calderon, spin the events.

The ceremony is scheduled for September 15. Fox will have his at Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ahmadinejad Goes to Caracas

The Iran-Venezuela alliance is getting stronger.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is steping in Caracas and Habana next week, on his way to New York to attend a United Nations General Assembly.

The visit will generate plenty of media coverage amid rumors of a Venezuela-Iran nuclear alliance. It will also work marvels for Hugo Chavez’s presidential campaign, which is full of Anti-American rhetoric.

Ahmadinejad may even surprise us with another Granma photo op having a great time at the hospital with Fidel.

Venezuela Extracts Uranium, Says Colombian Ambassador

Camilo Ospina is not a career diplomat. Whether this was a slip of the tongue or an intentional accusation, get ready for a new series of rebuttals and reactions. If proven, these allegations will radically change regional dynamics.

Colombia’s OAS Ambassador, Camilo Ospina, accused Venezuela of having an undercover operation to extract uranium. El Universal from Venezuela and El Nuevo Herald from Miami carry the story. Here goes a quick translation of Ospina’s comments as published by these outlets:

“You just have to go in direction to the Arauca, some 400 kilometers, to find two factories, a bicycle factory, and a motorcycle factory. These two factories are a façade to excavate uranium” … “Venezuela can’t enrich uranium, but Iran can. If this happens we will have a real problem.”

Speculation about a secret Venezuelan operation to provide Iran with uranium has been rampant. This is however the first time that a high level officer from any country makes a direct accusation.

Expect a loud rebuttal from the Venezuelan governement. Chavez himself may comment on this. This is a great oportunity for him to play his beloved anti yankee role.