On Wednesday, Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, whom I find infinitely quotable, gave an address to the UN in New York. An address which could have knocked a few powdered wigs right off of some head-of-state heads. I adore that outspoken, colorful, the-Emperor-has-no-clothes swagger of his—though I would like to know more about him.
For now, though, I fear for his life. The Bush regime would love dearly to have its nemesis taken out, and has apparently sponsored coups in Venezuela to oust him—or worse.
Quotes from the Chavez Address to the UN
What did Chavez say that caused all the fury? Here are a few snippets:
The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads.
The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. [crosses himself] And it smells of sulfur still today.
Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.
I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.
They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons. What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize it or others who are at the root of democracy. What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?
I have the feeling, dear world dictator [to Bush], that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.
The government of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war. It wants peace. But what's happening in Iraq? What happened in Lebanon? In Palestine? What's happening? What's happened over the last 100 years in Latin America and in the world? And now threatening Venezuela - new threats against Venezuela, against Iran?
This is imperialist, fascist, assassin, genocidal, the empire and Israel firing on the people of Palestine and Lebanon. That is what happened. And now we hear, "We're suffering because we see homes destroyed.'
And you can wonder, just as the president of the United States addresses those peoples of the world, what would those peoples of the world tell him if they were given the floor? What would they have to say?
And I think I have some inkling of what the peoples of the south, the oppressed people think. They would say, "Yankee imperialist, go home." I think that is what those people would say if they were given the microphone and if they could speak with one voice to the American imperialists.
And if there is anything I could ask all of you here, my companions, my brothers and sisters, it is to please lend your good will to lend momentum to the Non-aligned Movement for the birth of the new era, to prevent hegemony and prevent further advances of imperialism.
We want ideas to save our planet, to save the planet from the imperialist threat. And hopefully in this very century, in not too long a time, we will see this, we will see this new era, and for our children and our grandchildren a world of peace based on the fundamental principles of the United Nations, but a renewed United Nations.
Devil, Evil, Vile, Oh MY!
Is Bush a diablo? I've often referred to him as the terrorist-in-chief or the fascist-in-chief. I also gleefully made fun of him when he was quoted as saying he listened to God in the directive to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. But how evil is he, really?
Here's how Wikipedia defines evil:
Evil refers to the "bad" aspects of the behaviour and reasoning of human beings —those which are deliberately void of conscience, and show a wanton desire for destruction. In most cultures, the word is used to describe acts, thoughts, and ideas which are thought to (either directly or causally) bring about affliction and death.Bad behavior devoid of conscience? Check. An illegal war against Iraq that has resulted in the deaths of untold tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, thousands of U.S. soldiers, nobody knows how many Iraq soldiers—the list goes on. Now this isn't counting the participation the Bush administration likely had in the events of 9/11. Sure, I believe he was part of the scheming, but many of my readers don't. But other than that, there's still an extreme lack of conscience going on in the Bush brain. And oh, yeah, what about the threat to "Bomb Pakistan back into the Stone Age"? Was that devoid of conscience or what?
A wanton desire for destruction? Check. Same as above, and raise you the disregard for the Kyoto Protocol, a repealing of perfectly good environmental legislation that protects U.S. soil from pillaging by big business, the push for the rape of pristine Alaskan wilderness for the benefit of a few lousy years worth of oil—this list could be a long one. You get the idea.
Acts that bring about affliction and death? Double-check. All of the above, plus let us never forget the Hurricane Katrina Disaster rescue disaster.
Say what you will about Chavez and the way he manages his own country, it's difficult to be stung by the criticisms that he heaped upon the U.S. president, because, well, I'm afraid he was right.