Duddy’s Surprise! Back to Caracas and is not a Stephen King movie!

June 24, 2009


Imagine the scene somewhere in Maine last night, former Ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duddy is sitting there eating some clams, some nice yellow corn on the cob and a nice boiled lobster with drawn butter, wondering with his friends where he will be sent next.

As he serves some more of that nice Chalone Chardonnay from California, he is wondering whether he will get Argentina next. Sounds cool, may give him a chance to learn more about those nice Malbecs from Mendoza. Chile would be nice too, interesting politics going on there, good cultural life, country doing well. Colombia is not his top choice. Complicated country with Uribe not running again, the FARC  and Chavez next door.  After Caracas and Chavez, Duddy deserves a break. After he behaved so well, the ultimate diplomat till the end, Chavez ended up kicking him out on one of his temper tantrums.

It’s a nice Maine summer evening, sun setting late, water calm, a little chilly to be eating outside, but hell, it’s summer and the Red Sox are leading the Nationals in the background, pass the corn.

Phone rings. It’s DC, maybe Hillary decided where she wants to send me. Hello! He hears the words normalization, Chavez, Venezuela, Barack wants it, back to Caracas. Seems like a nightmare. Simply unreal. He tries to wake up, thinking this is a Stephen King novel, King actually lives down the street and he knows him, but not even good old Steve would send me back down to Caracas!

Hello! Hello! as Hillary tells him he did such a great job, dignity, professional, all of those nice words, coming from the lips of Bill’s wife’s mouth. There is no going back, I am going back! Have to put up with Maduro again, visit Chavez, listen to boring Ali, the long speeches, the traffic, start reading again the Devil, Daniel and Quico, what a nightmare!

Give me some more lobster and please, lots more of that nice white wine!

Well, I could eat a nice arepa again. Just trying to see the bright side.

11 Responses to “Duddy’s Surprise! Back to Caracas and is not a Stephen King movie!”

  1. Martin Says:

    Quite agree. The return of Fuddy-duddy is another step in what I like to call the Carterization of Obama’s foreign policy. Right up there with having to ask North Korea’s PERMISSION to inspect their boat full of illicit weapons exports, while they aim their missiles at Hawaii! Or hardly saying a word about Iran until there are graphic images of people dying in the street. Then telling them they are ‘outrageous.’ (OMG!) Ahmadinejad is already wiggling his finger at him for that. Come on, Mr President, how dare you use words like that, meddling in our internal affairs! Apologize right now or we’ll execute a hundred more dissidents and have nukes by next year!
    By the way, I had the painful experience of listening to a PBS interview with Alvarez a while ago. Seemed a totally clueless dimwit. I suppose he’s perfect for the post. As somebody said above, these people aren’t going to be dealing with anything substantial whatsoever.

  2. GWEH Says:

    Roberto, here is some well informed analysis from your same neck of the woods:

    PMBComment: The US and Venezuela announced today that, in terms of diplomatic representatives, they would return to the situation that existed prior to the unwarranted expulsion of US Ambassador Patrick Duddy (Sep. 11, 2008).

    On Friday afternoon Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez resumes – with no fanfare one hopes – his post as Venezuela’s envoy to Washington, and Ambassador Duddy is expected in Caracas shortly thereafter. This solution – rather unusual in the case of diplomatic expulsions – is a crafty and expedite way to reestablish high level diplomatic contact between the two irreconcilable countries. It would have been time consuming (and risky) to put a new US envoy through a Senate confirmation process likely to ventilate the wide schism that exists currently between both countries. None of the issues that are of deep concern for the US: drugs, FARC/ELN, relations with Iran and other non-Latin terrorist entities, money laundering, human rights, democracy (for now sadly in this order), are ever going to be discussed with Mr. Chávez who does not delegate foreign affairs to measly Ambassadors and who as a consummate meddler is very sensitive to anyone breathing down his militaristic neck.

    Good intentions aside, the bumpy (and soon to be bumpier) path that US policy has taken in the case of North Korea and Iran is likely to be repeated verbatim with Venezuela. Mr. Obama charted a course with all three countries that one can compare to the last breath a free diver takes before plunging into the ocean. It provides just enough oxygen to survive under water for a very short span of time and soon enough the diver has to reach the surface and go back to a normal terrestrial existence. Holding your breath is no alternative for governing from 1600 Pennsylvania as the recent wake up call from not-so-accommodating Iran painfully demonstrates. Thugs of all stripes see charm offensives and mea culpas as fabulous windows of opportunity to strike while the enemy is “deep underwater”. Mr. Chávez has been particularly capricious and abusive since that big smiley handshake in Port of Spain. He could well assume that normalization means just a bit more wiggle space and precious time to suffocate – unabated – a nation that he has failed miserable at governing.

    Finally, I would recommend Mr. Duddy travel light to Caracas. People with Mr. Chávez’s pathological profile tend to see a cheek turned as another great opportunity to strike. It will not be too long before Mr. Obama has to come back for air on Venezuela and Mr. Duddy will then be back – for good – in the US of A. PMB

  3. GWEH Says:

    Roberto, that is total BS … don’t know how it started but their was an early AM posting on ND and then Globo picked it up PM. Again, that is total BS. A Ledezma does not have the caliber to meet POTUS. His agenda was known and friends in common who met with him say topic not broached. Now Ledezma should have disrepeled rumor ASAP but we all make mistakes.

  4. Deanna Says:

    Roberto, wouldn’t doubt it at all. After all, it took Obama several days to finally say harsh things about Ahmedinejad, but the White House still kept the invitation open for Iranian diplomats to celebrate the 4th of July in the White House and the embassies. As an American, I’m ashamed.

  5. Roberto Says:

    One rumour, and I stress the word rumor, is that the “rapprochement” came about because Ledezma had a meeting scheduled yesterday with Obama in the Oval Office. Somehow Chavez found out, and threw a fit.

    Next thing you know, Madurito is on the phone, commuicating his nibs’ displeasure, and the quid pro quo was “normalization”. Ledezma got the call on his way to the White House, “Sorry dude, meeting cancelled” Obama has to walk Bo the dog. Maybe next time.

    Again, this is just the rumor circulating here in DC.

  6. Kepler Says:

    Veeeeeeerga, ¿eso es Chávez? ¿Tiene paperas o se trata de un sapo?
    Dabit deus his quoque finem, amen.

  7. Deanna Says:

    Liz, with all these infidelity scandals going around with US politicians, maybe Duddy already has a good reason for wanting to go back to Caracas!!!!

  8. liz Says:

    Hilarious!! and I think that concerned has a point there… LOL

  9. concerned Says:

    At which point Duddy ordered a bottle of whiskey and drunk himself into a stupor.
    It must have been that no one else wanted the job. They should send South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. He is soon to be out of a job, needing a place to stay, and has an apparant fondness for South America.

  10. Bridge Says:

    Was this announced in the same speech as the CIA involvement in the Iran protests ?

  11. Halfempty Says:

    It’s a nice Maine summer evening, sun setting late, water calm, a little chilly to be eating outside, but hell, it’s summer and the Red Sox are leading the Nationals in the background, pass the corn.

    Oh noes! Back to Castle Rock er… Caracas.

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