It’s just a headline at VHeadline.com and you have to register to see more. But this is very good news as well. As readers know, the tanks were of serious concern to Venezuela. Again, you have to admire the Venezuelan regime for handling the thing this way: once they had the ‘smoking gun’ and Colombia’s plans were leaked, they could have announced their own buildup at the border and escalated the arms race. Instead, they used politics and diplomacy and got the Spanish to kill the deal themselves.
Now, it isn’t as if Colombia can’t get a tank battalion from the US, who provides probably billions in military hardware (incidentally, in case people think the money for these comes from US taxpayers, some of it does — but most of it comes from Colombian taxpayers) every year. But this was a major deal and it will take time, and I increasingly believe time is on the side of Venezuela’s ‘proceso’. Above all, if Venezuelans can have time to consolidate their movements, to build a leadership and a political culture that goes well beyond Chavez, and demonstrate what such a process can actually achieve, it will become increasingly difficult for the US and the local oligarchy to stop them.