File this one under "oops."
Heck of a negotiator, hmmm? Can't even get a hostage turnover to work right.
Acting as freelance "mediator," last week Hugo Chavez let the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, make a fool of him by offering to release three hostages and then failing to show up as Chavez's traveling circus of 150 journalists, 15 international observers, the Red Cross and Hollywood film director Oliver Stone waited.
They had come to toast the Venezuelan dictator as "the only" solution to Colombia's 46-year conflict and introduce his hand as a player in Colombia's U.S.-backed war. Instead they swatted mosquitoes in the jungle, and as the Colombian government revealed the real truth of a baby hostage's whereabouts, they blamed the government.