One of the finalists for the Norwegian Badge of Uselessness
was, guess who? Hugo Chávez, at least if one is to believe the official Venezuelan government news agency. (Hat tip: Louisiana Conservative.)
Just three days ago I was saying I wouldn’t be surprised if Hugo’s awarded the next Norwegian Badge of Uselessness. After all, he could invite fellow winner al-Baradei to inspect the facilities and they could talk about their award ceremonies.
Hugo, borrowing a page or two from Fidel, expelled American missionaries on Columbus Day (which he has re-named “Day of Indigenous Resistance”) because, as he sees it,
He accused the missionaries of building luxurious camps next to impoverished Indian villages and circumventing Venezuelan customs authorities as they freely flew in and out on private planes.
which to the jet-set crowd would mean flying in and out of the spa — and, of course,
The group is involved in “true imperialist infiltration, the CIA, they take away sensitive, strategic information”, Chavez said, without elaborating.
As you can read in the Al-Jazeera article (obviously a branch of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy)
The New Tribes Mission specialises in evangelism among indigenous groups in the world’s remotest places.
You can see for yourself at the Venezuelan Prayer Updates page of New Tribes Mission that this group is certainly not focused on “building luxurious camps” for the CIA, for themselves, or for anyone. In fact, if the Norwegian Badge of Uselessness committee had any moral fibre at all, they might consider groups like The New Tribes Mission for an award. Since the Norwegian Badge of Uselessness committe doesn’t, it’s been up to John Templeton to fill the void.
Hugo’s apologists are crying foul over Parade Magazine’s assertion that Hugo’s “funding revolutionaries and terrorists throughout Latin America”, but by now even the NYT/International Herald Tribune is starting to see through Hugo’s propagandistic manipulations.