All of this happening on September 11:
Russia, whose nuclear-capable bombers are conducting training excercises out of Venezuela, has Vladimir Putin saying that George Bush ” was not in charge of American affairs.”
Perhaps to test that statement, Hugo Chavez expelled the American ambassador to Venezuela, right after Evo Morales did the same in Bolivia:
Venezuela’s Chavez says US ambassador must leave
President Hugo Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela in 72 hours and said he was immediately withdrawing his ambassador from Washington.
Using his customary tact and diplomacy, Chavez called the Americans “yanquis de mierda. Vayanse al carajo cien veces!” (Yankee shit. Go to hell a hundred times!)
More at Babalu.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday he is recalling his own ambassador from Washington and expelling the U.S. ambassador from Venezuela.
President Hugo Chavez said he was making the moves “in solidarity with Bolivia and the people of Bolivia.”
“He has 72 hours, from this moment, the Yankee ambassador in Caracas, to leave Venezuela,” Chavez told a crowd of supporters.
The president said he was making the moves “in solidarity with Bolivia and the people of Bolivia.”
Bolivia’s Evo Morales accused the United States Thursday of fomenting a coup d’etat by rich eastern department landowners against him, the country’s first Indian president.
“We have seen reports about President Chavez’s remarks but have not received any official diplomatic communication,” said Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman. “Our embassy in Caracas is looking into these reports.”
Also Thursday, Chavez accused the United States of having backed a coup plot against him.
“When there’s a new government in the United States, we’ll send an ambassador,” he said. “A government that respects Latin America.”
Earlier Thursday, Chavez said he has uncovered a U.S.-backed plot to remove him from power.
“It’s the empire that’s behind this,” he told supporters in a nationally televised address. “They go around looking for a way to stop our revolution and, with it, to strike all the processes of change that are occurring in our Americas, in the Caribbean, in Central America.”
Chavez then played a four-minute tape of what he said were conversations among current and retired members of the Venezuelan military discussing whom they could count on to support a movement against the presidential palace.
Chavez, who was briefly detained in a failed 2002 coup attempt, said the former plotters “are the same people involved in this coup attempt. Behind them is the American empire.”
But he said the presence of two Russian warplanes on Venezuelan soil for a training exercise “is a warning” to the rest of the world that Venezuela’s allies include Russia and other countries.
Chavez added that, should any country in Latin America be overthrown, he would interpret that to be “the green light to undertake military operations of any sort in those countries, and restore power back to the people.”
And he had a message for President Bush, beseeching him, to “go wherever you have to go and leave the Latin-American people alone.”
He added, “If they kill me, my God, I don’t fear for me, but for what comes after.”
Regarding the plot, Venezuela investigates alleged plot to kill Chavez (h/t Siggy):
Venezuela on Thursday interrogated military officers named in recordings of an apparent plan to kill President Hugo Chavez, in what may the firmest evidence in years of a barracks plot to oust him.
Ministers and legislators rallied to denounce the alleged plan with a flurry of news conferences. Chavez, a former paratrooper believed to have a tight grip on the army, talks frequently of plots against him but rarely produces evidence.
During a live broadcast shown on all television stations, Chavez played audio recordings he said were of retired officers discussing their infiltration of military bases and ways to kill the president. The recordings first appeared on a Venezuelan television program late on Wednesday.
He regularly accuses Washington of plotting his overthrow and this week let Russian bombers land in Venezuela as part of a drive to weaken U.S. influence in Latin America.
“This is not isolated, this is part of an international context,” he said of the alleged plot against him. “Behind these retired soldiers is the desperate political opposition, behind (them) is the North American empire.”
Meanwhile, in Bolivia, The US says it is expelling Bolivia’s envoy in Washington, a day after the US ambassador was told to leave Bolivia. Over in Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega congratulated Evo for expelling the American ambassador.
All in a work’s day for the Bolivarian revolution…while we are distracted with the upcoming presidential election.
IBD Blog calls it a meltdown:
Calling the US ambassador ‘yankee of sh**’ – an insane barnyard epithet – the Venezuelan dictator screamed that America had insulted him and he was following Bolivia’s Evo Morales in expelling the U.S. ambassador. The US booted the Bolivian ambassador, and the longtime Venezuelan ambassador is likely to be thrown out from Washington next. Both nations are in big trouble with the US over drugs and their refusal to cooperate in antidrug eradication efforts. Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s leader, Daniel Ortega, extended his gooey delight to Chavez and is likely to pull the same stunt. Ecuador may do the same, too, or wait till Sept. 28 when its new Marxist constitution goes through. This is quite a diplomatic hectatombe. The US response will be important.