Saturday, October 15, 2005

SPAIN continues it's slip towards a kind of non-aligned movement, 21st century edition, and behaving more like a banana republic rather than a mature, Western democracy and the 8th biggest world economy. Honestly, this is amazing:
Venezuela used an Ibero-American forum to bash the United States on Friday, increasing the anti-Washington flavor of the summit expected to back stronger criticism of the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the United States of harboring terrorists as controversy swirled over a Cuban-backed resolution on terrorism and a second resolution calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba in tougher language than used at past summits.

Cuban President Fidel Castro, a veteran foe of the United States, stayed away from the summit but Chavez made up for his absence by lambasting capitalism and U.S. policies.

"(The United States), which says it fights terrorism, which invades countries like Iraq using the excuse of the war on terror ... protects terrorists on its own territory," Chavez said as he was mobbed by reporters and flag-waving supporters at a Salamanca hotel.

Chavez was referring to a former CIA operative Venezuela wants extradited over the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.

[...] Foreign ministers approved a general resolution on extraditing terrorists, but a Spanish government spokesman said the precise reference, sought by Cuba, to the Cubana de Aviacion bombing was left out.

The ministers also agreed on a resolution criticizing the U.S. trade embargo of Communist Cuba in stronger language than used before, calling it a blockade instead of an embargo.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque has expressed Cuba's satisfaction over both resolutions, which must still be approved by leaders before the summit ends on Saturday.

El Mundo, a newspaper generally critical of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's 19-month-old Socialist government, said the resolutions marked another own goal in the government's relations with Washington.

Spanish-U.S. relations were chilled last year when Zapatero, elected three days after the al Qaeda-linked Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people, immediately pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq when he took office.

Spanish news agency Europa Press quoted a U.S. embassy source in Madrid as saying it would be "worrying" if two resolutions proposed by Cuba were approved.

"It would be unfortunate if a text like this was interpreted as support of the Cuban dictatorship," the source was quoted as saying.
I love the "El Mundo, a newspaper generally critical of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's 19-month-old Socialist government" line; when quoting El País approvingly, Reuters never writes "El Pais, a newspaper generally supportive of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's 19-month-old Socialist government"; apparently you only have to disclose the political inclination when it helps to relativize the media which doesn't agree with you.

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