So far, all the coverage I’ve seen of the U.S. and Venezuela normalizing diplomatic relations suggests that Caracas is far more impatient to get the process finalized than is Washington. This Latin American Herald Tribune article, citing a government-friendly Venezuelan daily is typical. But even this BBC article, which at first glance seems to suggest that both sides are on board, on closer inspection cites the Venezuelan foreign minister.
That probably has to do with the fact that the Chavez-Ahmadinejad lovefest the past week makes for less-than-ideal political optics for President Barack Obama. But Chavez’s eagerness to formally restore ties seems to bear out the idea that there’s not as much political mileage to be had in an antagonistic relationship with the Obama administration as there was with the Bush administration. And I wonder if, when the dust settles in Tehran and anti-American rhetoric no longer serves a domestic political purpose, we won’t see a similar posture from whoever emerges with power there.
I’m still gathering my thoughts about the proper posture for the U.S. to take in that case, but I hope to have something coherent to say on the subject a bit later.