Ah, the harvest of incriminating quotes has begun. Here’s Huguito on Belarus:
“I have come here to conclude a unity pact. Here we see a model of the social state that we are beginning to create.”
“Here, I’ve got a new friend and together we’ll form a team, a go-ahead team,” Chavez said before one-on-one talks. “I thank you, Alexander, for solidarity and we’ve come here to demonstrate our solidarity.”
Lukashenko, an open admirer of the Soviet Union, returned the praise, calling the president of the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter “a man of extensive knowledge.”
“You are versed not only in the economy of Venezuela but in the Belarus economy, as well. You know military science, the military-industrial complex, and this impresses me very much,” he said. “We have many directions for cooperation. There are no closed topics for discussions in our cooperation with Venezuela.”
During the 24-hour visit, Chavez was slated to tour a military academy and the “Stalin Line” – a network of World War II-era defense installations restored by Lukashenko’s government.
Do note, before retorting some variation on the old “Venezuela can seek diplomatic links with anyone it wants” line, that Chavez is specifically praising the state model in Belarus and explicitly noting the similarities between what they have and what he’s beginning to create in Venezuela.
First reader to find me a picture of Chavez feeling up Lukashenko good enough to put on the right-hand column wins a lollypop.