The key words, of course, are 'negotiations,' 'conduct,' 'intercession' and 'professional'...
Which appear to be sadly lacking in relations between the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry (MRE) in Caracas and the US State Department in Washington, DC ... irrespective of the fact that the Bush dynasty is, thankfully, coming to an end.
The dilemma with which the US State Department (for which I have no sympathy whatsoever!) is faced is, however, one where the 'Beverly Hill Clampetts' are proving to be quite too much too for the Washington Beltway mandarins to cope with!
In true NASA style it's "Houston ... we have a problem!"
Part of the problem is, of course, the culture of 'manana' back home in Venezuela and the fact that the new breed of extremely unprofessional 'diplomats' spewed out by the political party machinery in Caracas simply lacks the experience and even the sensibility to follow basic protocols achieved through decades if not centuries of international diplomacy. Gung-ho and/or gunboat diplomacy simply does not wash!
A seasoned veteran within the current administration in Caracas holds his head with both hands in sheer frustration as we talk and admits the situation at the Casa Amarilla (Yellow House) Foreign Ministry HQ in Caracas is "completely out of control ... they simply don't give a damn!" he says ... and Venezuela's reputation around the world is all the worse for the rank amateurs that currently infest the hallowed halls.
Of course, the Beltway Bullies in Washington DC aren't going to take the crap from buffoons anywhere ... much less from what they in their own minds consider to be a Banana Republic in a location they consider to be well off any map reference worthy of consideration, apart from OIL!
- So it isn't all that surprising that the diplomatic staff in at Venezuela's diplomatic representation in Houston-Texas have been given their marching orders and to get their sorry asses out of the United States by Sunday (November 10) -- three days hence!
WHY? Simply because of a catalogue of rank stupidities, lack of consideration, communication failures and heavy handednesses on the part of Venezuelan officials who think they rule the world from the office desks they pilot in a ministry building in downtown Caracas.
Diplomatic professionalism has gone clean out the window and right down the toilet as the obvious result!
The details of the latest contretemps are still shrouded in a confusion of tit-for-tat but it appears that the US State Department has had enough of being screwed around by the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC and the Foreign Ministry in Caracas and it has surfaced in a debacle over the re-location of Venezuela's General Consulate in Houston ... ergo, we have a problem, Houston!
The somewhat crude handling of the September 11 expulsion of US Ambassador Patrick Duddy from Caracas some months has boomeranged on the buffoons at MRE with (to put it mildly) "frictions" in which the US bunker in Caracas is quite frankly "****ed off" over what is claimed to be "discriminatory actions" against its embassy personnel in Caracas and "maliciously manufactured delays" in issuing diplomatic visas etc., etc., implemented by Caracas in an obvious effort to get up the noses of the Washington mandarins.
The straw that broke the camel's back came when the Clampets at MRE deliberately clamped down on embassy security personnel and refused to release imported embassy vehicles from Customs & Excise in direct violation of international accords. And, as if this were not enough, when the Ambassador's wife, Mary, applied for a visa to return to Caracas to clear out the family's personal effects from the embassy residence, the clod-hoppers at MRE dug in their heels in sheer defiance.
Boom, boom, boomerang!
Long-standing efforts to move Venezuela's Consulate General from a crime-ridden section of Houston to the more acceptable diplomatic quarter of that city in close proximity to other legations, was stymied -- especially after exiled Venezuelan Washington Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera sought to implant a whole bunch of family members in well-paid sinecures at the new location.
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Professional Caracas 'por puesto' (mini-bus) driver, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro -- whose wife, National Assembly (AN) speaker, Cilia Flores, already stands accused of having replaced more than forty staffers with members of her extended family -- performed his usual hot-head trait of shooting first, asking questions later, and dismissed long-term loyalist and professional diplomat Antonio Padrino from the Consulate General job he had so diligently performed for several years, blaming Padrino for the incredible mess created by his own underlings at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington and back home at the Casa Amarilla.
So, having crashed the bus, Maduro can't really call on the breakdown crew or the insurance company to clean up the mess he created all by himself.