by the El Reportero news services
LEON, Nicaragua: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez sang his anti-Bush praying of “gringo go home” on Sunday night in a friendly reunion with Nicaraguan revolutionary Daniel Ortega in front of thousands of cheering supporters.
With U.S. President George W. Bush on a five-country tour of Latin America, Chávez is haunting the man he sees as his ideological nemesis, vowing to revive a global socialist opposition to the U.S.
As Bush traveled from closely allied Colombia to Guatemala on Sunday evening, Chávez and Ortega traveled 90 kilometers (55 miles) to the city of Leon, where they left flowers at the tomb of poet Ruben Dario and announced that Venezuela would build a new oil refinery nearby.
Cheered by thousands, Chávez said Bush’s tour was a failure.
Chávez and Ortega agreed to press forward with plans for an oil refinery with a planned capacity of 150,000 barrels a day.
Ortega estimated the facility would cost US$2.5 billion (€1.9 billion), to which Chávez added: “We don’t need to go begging before the International Monetary Fund or from anybody because now we’ve created the Banco del Sur, which will also be in Nicaragua.”
Mexico tries a slower path to changes on immigration
Strategy includes strengthening domestic job market.
MEXICO CITY — When President Bush lands in the Yucatan colonial city of Merida on Monday night, he will encounter a new Mexican government that wants the same thing the old one wanted: comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.
What’s different is that Mexican President Felipe Calderón, in office since December, is trying a slower and subtler approach. Calderón and his lieutenants have even invented a buzzword to define their strategy, saying they will “desmigratizar” the bilateral agenda, or remove immigration from the forefront of U.S.-Mexico relations.
“He’s having to find a new vocabulary,” said Juan Hernández, who headed a cabinet-level office for Mexicans living abroad during the administration of Calderón’s predecessor, Vicente Fox.
Calderón has spoken out against U.S. border policy, calling border fences “deplorable” and predicting that security measures will lead to an increase in migrant deaths. Still, the president’s top aides say he is convinced that, to achieve immigration reform, he must demonstrate to the U.S. Congress that Mexico is willing to address the factors propelling illegal migration, especially the country’s weak job market and low standard of living.
(The Washington Post, Associated Press contributed to this report).