Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, has just played host to a meeting of the Organization of The American States (OAS), where the newly elected president, the Chilean Jose Migue Insulza, was one of the guests of honor.
It is in this meeting that Washington's top diplomat, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega, has gone on the record saying that Washington thinks Hugo Chavez is behind the crisis in Bolivia. When asked about the influence Chavez had on Bolivia, Noriega answered:
Chávez' profile in Bolivia has been very apparent from the beginning .........
His record is apparent and speaks for itself.
The immediate reaction followed when the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Alí Rodríguez said:
It seems that he [Noriega] goes around seeking to throw fuel on the fire.
Rodriguez added that diplomats should try to put out fires, not fuel their flames. He then added:
The problems in Bolivia are problems that belong to Bolivia and it is up to the Bolivians to solve them. Venezuela is scrupulously respectful of the sovereignty of all countries.
This report comes from the Miami Herald.