Hugo on time-out
As you already know, Hugo started his speech at the UN by saying that the “wrongly-named process of reform has been imposed on us”, pointed out the UN’s failures on poverty reliefe and childhood literacy, and flat-out stated the UN has outlived its model, “is useless”, and called for it to be re-founded. Not one for the niceties of protocol,
Chavez, passing the five-minute limit for speakers, grew irritated when a U.N. official slipped him a note requesting that he wrap it up. Turning toward the president of the General Assembly, Jan Eliasson of Sweden, he said: “I think the president of the United States spoke for twenty minutes here yesterday. I would ask your indulgence to let me finish my statement.”
But Hugo didn’t stop there:
Last night, Chavez threatened to disrupt plans by the 191-member General Assembly to formally endorse — by consensus and without a recorded vote — a 35-page agreement calling on governments to combat poverty and terrorism and promote human rights and democracy. The pact had been agreed upon in principle by 189 nations on Tuesday, with Venezuela and Cuba registering protests on grounds they were excluded from a group of about 30 nations who crafted the final deal.
The document passed anyway, with only Belarus and Cuba siding with Hugo.
Kofi was less than favorably impressed, even when Hugo had called for greater power for the Secretary general, and took him to task, so Hugo had to cancel his appearance at Columbia: Chavez’s angry U.N. speech prompts Annan to request meeting (emphasis mine):
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was set to meet Friday with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to discuss the Latin American leader’s harsh criticism of the world body during a summit wrapping up here.
U.N. spokesman Stephan Dujarric told EFE that at Annan’s request a meeting was scheduled for 5:45 p.m. (2145 GMT) in the secretary general’s office.
Chavez canceled plans for a speech at Columbia University and a press conference at Venezuela’s U.N. mission in order to accommodate Annan’s request.
Chavez caused a stir at a plenary session of the United Nations’ 60th General Assembly when he termed a “dictatorship” the way the body had “agreed” on a lengthy document regarding a U.N. overhaul that world leaders must adopt at the end of the summit that ends Friday.
“The U.N. Charter was violated. The right to negotiation was violated, because the document was discussed by only 30 nations, by an elite. The right to vote was violated, because it was adopted by consensus,” Chavez said.
Describing the document as “illegal,” the Venezuelan president said “the U.N. is good for nothing” and should be refounded and moved somewhere outside the United States.
“The United Nation’s new site must be in the south,” he said.
The Venezuelan president called for a new U.N. model that places developing countries on a par with developed countries, that is transparent and does away with the veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council: the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
At a press conference a few days ago, Annan called the countries that objected to the U.N. document, meaning Venezuela and Cuba, “saboteurs.”
(I find it curious that Hugo wants the UN to be “in the South” but suggests Jerusalem. In the South of what? Jerusalem’s in the Northern Hemisphere, same as Caracas)
As A. M. Mora y Leon put it, “Kofi has called the class clown Chavez into his office for a talking-to” — Mora y Leon summarized Hugo’s day over at Publius Pundit.
You know Hugo managed to PO Kofi that Kofi made him cancel his Columbia date, and by delaying Kofi’s own scheduled appearance at the final voting session (link in Spanish) of the UN summit.
Makes one wonder if Hugo had to $pill $ome oil over trouble water$ to pacify Kofi.
Update Many thanks to the readers who sent this link: Transcript: Hugo Chavez Interview
Venezuelan President On Rocky Relations with Washington One gem:
You know where right now my medical team is? In the presidential plane, 200 kilometers from here. The government of the United States, in violation of the laws of the United States and conventions, prevented my doctors from coming to New York.
200 kilometers = 124.2 miles, so I guess Hugo left them somewhere in Delaware — but what’s with this “medical team”?