Another spunky underdog takes on the Castro side, while Barack Obama twiddles;
Venezuela broke relations late Wednesday with Panama for calling an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss the political and social unrest that has disrupted the lives of Venezuelans for the past four weeks.
During a ceremony to observe the first anniversary of the death of Hugo Chávez, President Nicolás Maduro warned the OAS to stay out of Venezuelan affairs and called the conservative administration of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli “a flunky government.”
Panama reacted by saying that it wasn’t going to accept “rude language” and denied that it was trying to get involved in Venezuelan internal affairs. Panamanian Foreign Minister Francisco Álvarez cancelled his scheduled Thursday visit to Spain to deal with the diplomatic crisis.Which is embodied in the celebrations in Caracas right now in which the POTUS pretends his nose isn't being rubbed;
Makeshift road blocks and burning barricades were placed on major thoroughfares across the capital in an attempt to prevent the regional leaders – but especially Raúl Castro, whom the opposition accuses of being the person behind the throne in Venezuela – from gaining access to the ceremony site. Maduro said “fascist groups” were behind the road sabotages.
Castro was able to make it to the ceremony without any interruptions, as did Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega – who hadn’t been seen in public for the past few days – and Suriname’s Dési Bouterse.
During the military parade, Venezuela’s armed forces showed off the latest equipment it had purchased from Russia, including ground-to-air missiles, Sukhoi aircraft, and T72 Soviet-style tanks. Militia groups, organized under Chávez in different neighborhoods across the country, also marched in the parade.
....The day ended with the premiere screening of Oliver Stone’s latest documentary on Chávez, My Friend Hugo, which was broadcast on Telesur, the regional news network set up by the late Venezuelan president to counter CNN.Maybe Obama can hit the re-set button.