TALK ABOUT ADDING INSULT TO INJURY. It was bad enough the United States turned in the worst performance among the twelve teams taking part in this year's Copa America tourney, but now we learn the Venezuelan Government harrassed the American security officials guarding the team. The charge comes from no less a personage than the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the wretched socialist state:
Ambassador William Brownfield told Reuters two State Department diplomatic security agents were detained for two hours at Maracaibo airport when they arrived to provide security for US players at this month's Copa America hosted by Venezuela.
"They jacked us around at the airport and then revoked the weapons permits," Brownfield said on his last day as ambassador in a country whose President Hugo Chavez is openly hostile to Washington.
"It is an unusual way of doing business," he added.
The US team, which has suffered heavy defeats in its opening games, has generally received good cooperation from Venezuelan authorities during the tournament, the ambassador said.
But the detentions and a formal note from the foreign ministry withdrawing permission for any of the 10 agents at the tournament to have guns is symptomatic of the increasingly sour ties between the United States and its No. 4 oil supplier.
Well, ties between Venezuela and the United States have always been sour, if you get my drift. Heh. That's an oil joke!
In all seriousness, though, I have to say Venezuela's Government is getting more annoying with each passing day. It's bad enough the Government is slowly destroying what had been a somewhat prosperous nation, but the Minimum Leader's extraterritorial ambitions are starting to prove somewhat troublesome. This latest stunt is just another indication Col Chavez is a most irresponsible leader, and the potential threat his Government poses to regional stability should not be ignored.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 5, 2007 10:32 PM | TrackBack