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The Israel of Latin America

Just in case you were wondering what Hugo Chavez thinks about Israel these days, the AP reports today that he is now using the Jewish state in his rhetoric against Colombia. According to reports, the Columbian government, which has been fighting a decades-long war against cocaine warlords, recently took out one of their leaders in a cross-border operation in Ecuador. Chavez’ response was to call Colombia “the Israel of Latin America,” and to order tanks and thousands of troops to the Colombian border. (For what it’s worth, it does in fact seem that not only the U.S., but also Israel, are giving the Colombian government a lot of support.)

South America, one of the only continents that has managed without international warfare for a long time, may be about to heat up. Chavez, who has been busily turning Venezuela into a bona fide axis-of-evil state, has recently upped the anti-Semitic rhetoric, causing thousands of Jews to flee the country. But two questions must be asked: First: Why is Ecuador playing host to anti-Colombian rebels? And second: Why is the West waiting until Chavez does something really bad, like attacking Colombia, before taking him for the menace that he is?

CORRECTION: This post had not one but two significant errors. First, Colombia does not border El Salvador, but Ecuador, where the raid took place. Second, I consistently misspelled Colombia as Columbia, which is a fine university but does not necessarily have the problem with cocaine that the homonymous South American country is dealing with. Thanks to those who quickly commented.


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