Who'd of thought that France and Venezuala are now in cahoots?
But I love the quote from Chavez:
French oil giant Total has a strong presence in Venezuela and could double its output from 200,000 to 400,000 barrels a day after several billion dollars were invested, Chavez said in Paris in March.
Now, normally I think this would mean that when Total invests several billion in its oil pumping and refining capacity in Venezuala, capacity could be doubled.
But hey, come on! This is FRANCE we're talking about, the home of indicted former government ministers and a president who can't leave office because when he does, he will be indicted as well. Gotta parse this so: when Total pays off Chavez to the tune of a couple of billion, then Total can double their allocation, no questions asked.
During the mini summit Chirac reiterated that France and the European Union supported regional integration in Latin America as a "boon for stability and economic and social progress," according to Bonnafont, who said the French president noted Venezuela's recent accession to MERCOSUR, the common market of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Earlier Wednesday, Chavez lunched with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who spoke of the "common vision between the two countries."
Villepin added, in an impeccable Spanish he learnt growing up in Caracas, that "relations between France and Venezuela are very good and we are looking to develop our cooperation on all levels."
Great. Villepin grew up in Venezuala? His politics make a whole lot more sense now. The common vision between the two countries is classic anti-americanism, coupled with an intense desire to keep American culture as far away as possible.
Of course, the likelihood of France and Venezuala co-operating more closely was given great impetus in the last few days as Chavez called for his country to go nuclear: of course, France will be more than happy to provide that sort of help. After all, you can see how well France has been involved in non-proliferation by its actions in Iran and North Korea.
With friends like these, who needs enemies?