Il est temps d'affronter Chávez

MEXICO – Début septembre, les plus grandes entreprises colombiennes ont surpris tout le monde en déclarant leur soutien total au président Alvaro Uribe dans le conflit de plus en plus profond qui l’oppose au Venezuela. Si elles perdent l'énorme marché à l’exportation avec le pays voisin, hé bien tant pis.

Pour la première fois, les exportateurs colombiens d'à peu près tout ce que le Venezuela achète – du papier toilette au gasoil en passant par les fruits et légumes, le lait et la viande – ont donné le feu vert à Uribe pour qu’il affronte le président vénézuélien Hugo Chavez au lieu de continuer à tendre l'autre joue comme ils l’y ont incité durant ses huit années à la présidence.

Le Venezuela était devenu une superbe opportunité commerciale pour les exportateurs colombiens, puisqu’il ne produit quasiment plus rien (excepté du pétrole), a un taux de change officiel très bonifié et brandit des sommes considérables de pétrodollars avec lesquelles il peut tout acheter à portée. Les autorités colombiennes ont été contraintes de faire avec les fréquents affronts de Chávez, l’ingérence dans les affaires intérieures, les achats massifs d'armes et les caprices diplomatiques, étant donné que le milieu des affaires profitait du gouvernement et faisait pression sur lui en faveur de compromis. C'est ce que faisait le gouvernement jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

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