Friday, December 18, 2009
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are pretty islands in the southern Caribbean known as the "ABC" islands, because of their geographical proximity and their common colonial history with The Netherlands, and of course the sequence of the first letters. It's fair to say that every December, locals are worried more about the upcoming tourist season than any political or military activities.
Hugo Chavez, however, is expressing his concern from Copenhagen that the ABCs are just a jumping-off point for American and Dutch imperial aggression:
Hugo Chavez accused the Netherlands on Thursday of allowing the United States to use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast to prepare a possible military attack against his country.Setting aside the possibilities that he is a) suffering from end-stage venereal disease and resulting dementia; or b) doing serious crack cocaine, is he out of his frickin' mind? Does he honestly believe that the Commander in Chief of the United States, President Barrack Obama, is going to order a military strike against Venezuela?
The Venezuelan leader said the U.S. military, to prepare for a possible offensive, has sent intelligence agents, war ships and spy planes to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which are self-governing Dutch islands.
"They are three islands in Venezuela's territorial waters, but they are still under an imperial regime: the Netherlands," Chavez said during a speech at a climate change conference in Denmark. "Europe should know that the North American empire is filling these islands with weapons, assassins, American intelligence units, and spy planes and war ships."
All I can say is: Paging Sean Penn! Paging Sean Penn! Can you resolve this misunderstanding between two men you admire so much? Thanks, Spicoli. Crisis averted.
Sure, the U.S. invaded Grenada 26 years ago, basically to kick off the Cuban military who were on the island, but mostly to provide a good story for Clint Eastwood's movie Heartbreak Ridge. Besides, a Republican was president back then...um, what was his name...oh, right, Ronald Reagan, the guy who was around for most of the last deteriorating decade of the Soviet Union. Tip for Chavez -- President Obama ≠ Zombie Reagan.
To go after the Dutch, Chavez must really be channeling his inner Nigel Powers:
It probably loses much of its humor when translated into Spanish.
Regarding crack cocaine, I have no idea, but in this video,Chávez talks about chewing coca paste. (my translation)
”Coca (paste) is not cocaine. I chew coca (paste) every morning and look how I am (flexes his bicep). Evo gave me, he gave me. Just like Fidela sends me ice cream from Helados Coppelia and other things from Havana, Evo sends me coca paste. I recommend it to you. I recommend it to you.”
Chávez has also upped the rhetoric regarding the drug traffic monitoring units the US will be putting into Colombia, claiming that they are a precursor to a US invasion. The units have been in Ecuador,but Hugo's buddy Correa is not renewing the agreement. Colombia was the alternative.
U.S. Navy vessels have been fueling up in Curacao for most of the past century, so there's nothing new about that activity that should alarm Mr. C. My 94 year-old father told me today that he stopped in there on a small sub-chaser in 1942. In and out, barely had time to go ashore and get a proper drink. Not quite as nice as Aruba.
PA - if you are correct, it is the end of NATO and OAS. Too bad, because Obama could score points among moderates, since the U.S. Navy would do some serious damage to VE forces in the Caribbean. Even Sean Penn might be aghast that Chavez took offensive action against a harmless tourist-oriented island.
Curacao has large dry dock and ship overhauling facilities as well as a large refinery...its not just tourism. This is why I think he makes a play for it rather than Aruba or Bonaire.
There's a small Dutch contingent there, but they'd be overwhelmed rather quickly if a serious attack were launched.
I suspect the Dutch would give it up without much of a fight.