Hugo Chavez is in Colombia to broker negotiations between the country's pro-US government and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces.
It's a great PR stunt, but it makes me think of the question that cracked egg over Obama's face -- how much can a government entertain the likes of Chavez before it becomes complicit in the dictator's self-aggrandizement?
And the same can be said of the FARC who have entertained other Colombian presidents and have pretended to make overtures at peace. In the end, though, the kidnappings don't stop and hostages like Ingrid Betancourt have yet to be released.
So who's using who here? And what does the U.S. stand to lose if someone like Chavez can trump the billions of dollars we've spent in Colombia by talking sense into the guerrilla group?
The latter just won't happen. After all, the FARC became a narco-terrorist group a long time ago and their new goal is to run the country's drug trade. None of those creeps is out for socialism anymore.
In the meantime, as the group makes weak attempts at legitimacy, neither Chavez nor the guerrillas stand to gain much from these very well publicized meetings.
Unfortunately, there are countless people's who's pain is only dragged out further. I suspect, though, that the families of the hostages, and the Colombian people in general, see right through this budget version of diplomacy.