Good afternoon and welcome to Security in
I did, however, have a very interesting conversation with a colleague in
Julio Cirino is an Argentine journalist and International Analyst that from time to time comments for CNN en espanol. He hosts a radio show in
Our conversation covered many topics all over the region, but I’d like to focus on two. First, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, a man Julio refers to as “huguito” or “chavito” as is common in the region, has aligned himself closely with Argentine president Nestor Kirchner. But what, if anything do the two men have in common? Julio provides some interesting insight.
Second, what is Chavez doing to spread his military doctrine through the reigon? It is clear that he would like to be in command of a region-wide army, especially after his speech at the last MercoSur summit, held in Cordoba, Argentina, when he said that MercoSur should be a foundation for a region-wide economic union, like the European Union, as well as a region-wide military to oppose any would-be invaders from imperialist countries.
Julio talks about Chavez’s influence in
So let’s begin.
Two things that Hugo Chavez and Nestor Kirchner have in common is power. Both men have consolidated power over their country’s legislative and judicial branches, and both rule by decree. Both men also enjoy a deeply divided opposition that, at times, argues more with itself than the man in power. How do these two men compare? When I put this question to Julio, he had a clever answer: Chavez es Peron con Petroleo. That is, Chavez is much like Kirchner, only he has money, while Kirchner does not.
It is clear that Kirchner depends more and more on Chavez, but what about other leaders in the region? Many would argue that Bolivian president Evo Morales is very close to Chavez. I would argue that he puts
When I put this question to Julio, he had some interesting comments, included was his concern that Chavez may have brought the Russians to
The Brazilian military is indeed worried. Already discussions about Chavez and his military machine are circling in
Next week I hope to focus on
The full podcast with Julio's comments may be found here.