Thursday, February 25, 2010

Handy guide to regional leadership

The 'Unity' summit in Mexico failed to live up to its name yesterday when a full on pelea threatened to break out between the leaders of Venezuela and Colombia. It all kicked off when Chávez accused Uribe of sending sicarios over the border to have him whacked. Uribe responded by puffing out his chest and demanding that they settle this like men.

Jaime Bayly reported last night that Evo Morales had hidden beneath a table during the 'desmadre', but the Bolivian President later appeared before gathered reporters in order to deliver further jibes at his Colombian counterpart's expense...from a safe distance: "Uribe sólo llega a la foto y al almuerzo."

In case you hadn't noticed, the quality of leadership across Latin America is patchy at best, and while activities such as setting up regional clubs which exclude the gringos or standing firm beside Argentina against Britain's imperialist Queen, do indeed deliver telegenic moments of apparent camaraderie, the truth is that they are usually so glad to get away from issues of legitimacy back home, that the release of tension will often manifest itself as fraternal strife at these kind of diplomatic junkets.

Anyway, here's my handy guide to the region's Presidents and Prime Ministers, which reflects my subjective opinion on their qualities as both politicians and human beings:

Brazil Lula Good Bloke
Peru Gárcia Baboso
Chile Bachelet / Piñera Good Blokette / Jury’s out
Argentina Fernández Babosa
Ecuador Correa Good Bloke
Colombia Uribe Baboso
Uruguay Vázquez /Mujica
Good Bloke, but looks like a plastic surgeon / Good Bloke
Paraguay Lugo Baboso - aka "El cura braguetero"
Bolivia Morales Baboso
Venezuela Chávez Extra Baboso
Guyana Jagdeo Good Bloke
Suriname Venitiaan A saaaber
F. Guiana Sarkozy...en effet
Bon Oeuf
Panama Martinelli Baboso
Costa Rica Chinchilla Potential Good Blokette
Nicaragua Ortega Once a Baboso, always..?
El Salvador Funes Potential Baboso
Guatemala Colom Good Bloke
Honduras Lobo Baboso
Belize Barrow Not sure
Dom. Republic Fernández Borderline Baboso

Update: Attentive readers may have spotted that I accidentally left Raul Castro and Felipe Calderón out of this table, class-act babosos both. (Most of Mexico is in North America however.) Meanwhile Guatemala's former patán-in-chief Alfonso Portillo has elected to pull a sickie in order to avoid extradition to the US.

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