NZ Prime Minister, Helen Clark has just been to the March 11 inauguration of Chile’s new Socialist president, .
Apart from our leader (who is of course a moderate social democrat) and US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, the guest list reads like a who’s who of the Latin American far left.
Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, Argentina’s Nestor Kirchner, Uruguay’s Tabare Vazquez, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales were among more than two dozen heads of state at the inauguration in the coastal city of Valparaiso.
Said Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez as he arrived at the airport “In Latin America, you have a labourer becoming president, that’s Lula; an Indian, Evo, has arrived; a socialist woman; and a soldier – that’s me, a revolutionary soldier – building a new South American project that is vital for the salvation of our people,”
Also attending was South African President Thabo Mbeki, until at least 1990 a leading member of the South African Communist Party.
Helen Clark must have felt soooo out of place amongst all those socialists.