Even though (T)Hugo Chavez has continued to face one setback after another, he still has his admirers. In the US. The supporters see his anti-Americanism as "political savvy". One assumes they think he is ascending, rather than as having peaked. Others are honest enough to see that Chavez has damaged himself with his antics:
"Taking these kinds of broadsides against the U.S. hasn't really worked for him politically abroad," said Daniel Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank. "A lot of governments indicated they would vote for him in the U.N., and then when it came to the secret ballot, they didn't."
With Venezuela trailing the U.S.-supported Guatemala after 35 rounds of secret votes that left both shy of the two-thirds majority needed to win a Security Council seat, the contest could eventually end up going to a compromise candidate after voting resumes Wednesday.
Chavez portrays the U.N. voting as a diplomatic victory, saying Sunday that he achieved his objective of blocking Washington's candidate.
"We've taught the empire a lesson," Chavez told supporters. Even if "Venezuela isn't able to enter the Security Council, we've done damage to the empire. That was our objective."
But Ghana's U.N. ambassador, Nana Effah-Apenteng, said many diplomats feel Chavez went too far in his speech to the General Assembly last month, when he said the podium reeked of sulfur after Bush spoke.
"Even if you want to bash another head of state, this isn't proper decorum," Effah-Apenteng said. "That's the problem."
Some analysts, however, said Chavez's influence with a solid bloc in thedespite counter-lobbying by Washington shows his political savvy.
"This is like a boxing match. You have a heavyweight in the form of the U.S., you have a junior weight in the form of Venezuela, and the fact that Venezuela has lasted this long speaks tremendously to the kind of influence that they were able to generate," said Miguel Tinker Salas, a Latin American studies professor at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.
Yeah, he's just taking a rest before the title bout, right professor? Since you used a boxing analogy, it is fitting to point out that there is a reason they use weight classes in that sport. (By the way, Chavez is more like a flyweight, despite his delusions of grandeur). We here at Blue Crab Boulevard like to think of Chavez's performance at the UN this way:
But then, we are optimists.