First for a bit of fun:
Letterman last night: “Hugo Chavez has been making so many outrageous statements that he’s been invited to join the cast of The View”.
After plugging Chomsky’s book at the UN, Hugo told a news conference that one of his greatest regrets was not getting to meet Mr. Chomsky before he died. Noam begs to differ (or, as Taranto said, “He must’ve been thinking of Fidel Castro.”). Hugo, who yesterday reportedly recited the words of Mark Twain, obviously isn’t familiar with two of Twain’s most famous quotes, the first of which Chomsky’s probably told him about by now,
The report of my death was an exaggeration.
and the other, which is timely,
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
But it all plays in, in Hugo’s mind at least, as being as witty and erudite as Fidel. Which brings about another Twain quote,
Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.
Scrappleface: GOP Funds Ahmadinejad-Chavez Speaking Tour
And now for the serious stuff
Sigmund Carl and Alfred takes a look at the ugly truth behind What’s Yours Is Mine And Other Truths Hugo And Mahmoud Don’t Want You To Think About
One of the ways our adversaries maintain their grip on their citizens is to deny them absolute property rights and the absolute ownership over anything. What you own, or what you think you own, is in reality a mirage. In fact, in every tyrannical or oppressive regimes, owning property of any kind is allowed only by the grace of the leader. Deny the the leader or the leader’s regime, and you may end up with what you thought was yours, taken away. The threat of having what is yours taken away, is an ever present and powerful threat to human dignity. The implied threat of living under a form of government that can seize your property at anytime, is a kind of terror visited upon a cowed citizenry, by a kind of evil.
In the comments section of that post I added a short list of articles regarding land confiscations in Venezuela, which have been going on for several years.
Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s article in this morning’s WSJ, In Chávez’s Crosshairs, explains another very serious issue:
Let’s not forget what happened when Venezuelans tried to remove Mr. Chávez in a 2004 recall referendum. The European Union refused to act as an observer, citing lack of transparency. But that didn’t stop Jimmy Carter or the Organization of American States, both of which went along to “observe” a vote cloaked in state secrets. When OAS mission director Fernando Jaramillo cried foul at the many government pre-referendum pranks and Mr. Chávez complained about him, OAS chief César Gaviria yanked Mr. Jaramillo from the country just ahead of the vote.
Exit polls showed that the Venezuelan president was badly beaten in the contest but the chavista-stacked electoral council declared him the winner. Mr. Chávez refused to allow independent auditing of voting machine software or a count of paper ballots against machine tallies. Mr. Carter together with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roger Noriega and the OAS, rushed to endorse the vote despite the lack of transparency and many testimonies to state-sponsored intimidation and dirty tricks. In the heat of the battle, the National Endowment for Democracy cruelly threatened the country’s most important independent electoral watchdog that if it didn’t accept Mr. Chávez’s victory, NED would pull its support.
Mr. Chávez now boasts that he was democratically elected and foments hatred against his neighbors, including the U.S. Wednesday’s Castro-esque message claimed that the “non-aligned” movement intent on going nuclear has only pure motives, while the U.S. president is the devil.
Still Hugo knows that rhetorical bullying from the U.N. pulpit can take him only so far. Both Mexico and Peru rejected Chávez proxies this year in presidential elections. While he might still get a foothold in Nicaragua if Daniel Ortega wins there in November, what he really wants to do is knock Brazil down a few notches. And there is no better way to do that than to hit its energy supply. This explains the blitz the chavistas are now putting on in Bolivia to make that country a (hydro) carbon copy of Venezuela.
Gustavo Coronel ponders a Venezuelan seat in the UN Security Council,
President Chávez, the man who accuses the U.S. government of such an enormous crime, also said recently: “We are not recognizing the new president of Mexico. We believe that many irregularities went on during that election.” How can the president of a country say such a thing about the democratic electoral process in another country without creating a major diplomatic crisis? The member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) that already know about these statements by Chávez should think twice before giving him their votes for the seat at the UNSC. If they do, in spite of knowing that the man is not mentally sane and that he harbors dangerous ambitions of world supremacy, they will be accomplices of a crime. I could understand the tiny Caribbean countries, in desperate need of money and oil, kneeling before the madman. But Brazil? Argentina? Chile? On what possible grounds can these countries, which should be true hemispheric leaders, support the ambitions of a mentally insane person to play such an important role in world affairs? They certainly should have considered the potential consequences of their votes. Lula still has a good regional reputation and President Bachelet has or was supposed to have a strong and decisive intellect. About Kirchner no one had much expectations. But they should all be aware that a seat for Hugo Chávez (not Venezuela) at the UNSC would mean an intensification of political instability in the hemisphere. Their prestige as serious, responsible leaders will be put in great doubt.
While we were looking at Hugo, look who was waiving the coca leaf at the General Assembly:
You can listen to his speech here
(as Jorge Valin said, the UN must have used cell phones to tape the speeches). Expect the usual Marxist tripe, while he keeps saying he’ll respect private property.
Update 2: Claudia Rosett on The Carter-Chavez Connection
Recall that just a few years ago, Chavez was on the ropes in Venezuela. Elected president in 1998, he embarked on a despotic course that sparked enormous opposition. Ousted briefly in 2002 by a military coup, his return to power was met with nationwide strikes and protest. Jimmy Carter, with his Carter Center, got involved; and in August, 2004, Venezuela held a referendum on whether Chavez should remain in power. Amid serious signs of vote fraud, Chavez announced victory. Dismissing huge evidence of a stolen election, including such stuff as bizarre statistical discrepances, a failure of secure auditing procedures at the central tallying center, and more votes cast in some districts than there were voters, Carter went to bat for Chavez, certifying him as the victor.