Ahmadinejad bolsters Iranian ties with Bolivia and Nicaragua. I have no idea why the IHT headline mentions Nicaragua and not Venezuela, but here’s the text of the article (emphasis added):
On a trip to strengthen ties with leftists in Latin America and roll back U.S. influence, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has pledged to invest $1 billion in Bolivia and reaffirmed relations with the Venezuelan president with a declaration that “no one can defeat us.”
‘Jad and Evo go back a long time:
But the promises don’t come for free:
The investment in Bolivia, to be made over the next five years, would help the country tap its vast natural gas reserves, extract minerals, generate more electricity and finance agricultural and construction projects.
After La Paz, ‘Jad flew up to Caracas, where the love flowed:
Chavez greeted the Iranian leader warmly on a red carpet in front of the presidential palace, where they both stood before microphones and let loose with rhetoric challenging Washington.
The BBC states, “The Iranian and Venezuelan leaders see themselves as brothers, with similar political aims.”
You know things are screwed up in Venezuela that pro-democracy students are asking Ahmadinejad to serve as intermediary with Chavez so Hugo will grant them the right to ask questions regarding Venezuelan-Iranian relations.
In other Latin American celebrity travel news, Actor Kevin Spacey met with Chavez looking for oil money to produce movies, since Hugo Chavez Funds State-Run Film Studio and already gave Danny Glover a few million $$$.
Neither Spacey _ who has won Academy Awards for roles in “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty” _ nor Chavez spoke to the press after the nearly three-hour encounter in the presidential palace in Caracas. They shook hands warmly on the red carpet as Spacey left after a dinner with Chavez.
We’ll never know for sure.
The AP story claims that “Details were not released about the rest of Spacey’s itinerary.” Maybe the AP reporter should have spent some time watching Venezuela’s government-controlled TV newscasts, because in this video (via Jeremayakovka) the reporter (in Spanish) says that after Caracas Kevin was heading to Cuba.
Chalk it up to Associated Press Deficit Disorder, because Kevin indeed went to Cuba after leaving Venezuela.
Marc Masferrer links to the article, El actor estadounidense Kevin Spacey se pasea de incógnito en Cuba (American Actor Kevin Spacey Travels Incognito Through Cuba).
Other recent visitors to Cuba listed in the article include Michael Moore, Benicio del Toro, Steven Soderberg, Sean Penn, Joseph and Ralph Fiennes, Gael García Bernal and Fernando Trueba.
I don’t believe any of them asked about Martha Beatriz Roque, Elizardo Sanchez, or much anyone else who is not a celebrity.
Update: GM follows up.