One hand washes the other: Venezuela, France, and Iran
The French press was nearly orgasmic over the lovebirds:
Thursday last week, Oct. 20 at Le Figaro:
Jacques Chirac shows support for Hugo Chavez
It is the big love affair. Jacques Chirac holds Hugo Chavez in affection and makes no secret of it. And too bad if, for Washington, the Venezuelan leader smacks of heresy.
Jacques thinks he’s got a friend,
Jacques Chirac’s support is due to a shared desire to combat the negative effects of globalization. However, while the French president approves of the Venezuelan project for an international humanitarian fund, he above all requested Hugo Chavez once again yesterday to back his idea for the aeroplane ticket tax that France is putting into place together with Chile and Brazil to combat world hunger.
But there is no love story without some token of the affection, and Jacques Chirac was waiting for precisely that yesterday on behalf of Total [French oil company]. Following Hugo Chavez’s visit to France in March, the French oil company thought it had won the big prize in the form of a new oil drilling contract following the “Sincor I” already signed.
But it became disillusioned during subsequent weeks when Total was accused by the Venezuelan government of violating its commitments. “Total thought it could clinch Sincor II but now they are fighting just to keep Sincor I-II,” said one oil director in Caracas.
Of course, Hugo had nothing to do with this total “misunderstanding”, as Le Figaro calls it:
Jacques Chirac’s associates said that the “misunderstanding” was caused by the Venezuelan energy minister and not by Hugo Chavez. Following the ceremony in homage to the victims of the Machiques air disaster, the latter said that his teams had perhaps been a “little hard” on Total and would soon be meeting its president, Thierry Desmarest.
I posted last week the result of this lovefest here. Too bad Jacques missed the September UN Summit because of his stroke, or we would have really seen a honeymoon. Let’s hope for Jacques’s sake that Hugo doesn’t change his mind and seize Total’s assets the way he’s seized the mines.
Jacques has been saying that Iran must halt nuclear activities, so he’s probably turning a blind eye to Hugo’s nuclear ambitions.
Buried in this morning’s news is this item, Iran counts Venezuela as ally amid Israel row
CARACAS, Venezuela: Iran is counting Venezuela as a friend and ally, an Iranian government official said, amid a diplomatic storm set off by comments from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week that Israel should be ”wiped off the map.” ”We are two friendly countries, Iran and Venezuela … When one is in need the other supports,” Saeed Jalili, Iran’s Vice Minister of Foreign Relations for Europe and America, said during a visit to Caracas.
Readers of TBHB might remember that last June I was posting about how Hugo wants to go nuclear, with Iranian help.
As mentioned here at TBHB, Venezuela’s part of Iran’s Axis of Good, along with Russia, China, Algeria, the South African Republic, Mexico, Tunisia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Yemen, Brazil, Sri-Lanka and Vietnam, while Iran finds the UN criticism unacceptable over the Iranian president’s call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.