I haven’t commented on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ recent speech to the United Nations yet. I think this article from the Communist Party of Australia’s Guardian 27.9.06 sums it up nicely.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has addressed the United Nations in a speech which must warm the heart of every anti-imperialist in the world and has clearly driven the Bush administration into fury. What else can we do except cheer a leader who claims he can still “smell the sulphur” after US President Bush’ speech to the UN.
“The devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulphur still today,” Chavez said.
“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…
“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.
“An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: The Devil’s Recipe…
“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 recognise it or others who are at the root of democracy.
“What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?
“The President of the United States, yesterday, said to us, right here, in this room, and I’m quoting, ‘Anywhere you look, you hear extremists telling you can escape from poverty and recover your dignity through violence, terror and martyrdom.’
“Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother — he looks at your colour, and he says, oh, there’s an extremist. Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him.
“The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It’s not that we are extremists. It’s that the world is waking up. It’s waking up all over. And people are standing up.
“I have the feeling, dear world dictator, 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.
President Chavez went on to criticise the failings of the United Nations and the efforts to prevent Venezuela becoming a member of the UN Security Council.
“Venezuela a few years ago decided to wage this battle within the United Nations by recognising the United Nations, as members of it that we are, and lending it our voice, our thinking.
“Our voice is an independent voice to represent the dignity and the search for peace and the reformulation of the international system; to denounce persecution and aggression of hegemonic forces on the planet.
“This is how Venezuela has presented itself. Bolivar’s home has sought a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.
“Let’s see. Well, there’s been an open attack by the U.S. government, an immoral attack, to try and prevent Venezuela from being freely elected to a post in the Security Council.
“I thank you all warmly on behalf of Venezuela, on behalf of our people, and on behalf of the truth, because Venezuela, with a seat on the Security Council, will be expressing not only Venezuela’s thoughts, but it will also be the voice of all the peoples of the world, and we will defend dignity and truth.”
President Chavez spoke about Cuba and US responses to Cuba and then went on to express his optimism.
“It was shown that the end of history was a totally false assumption, and the same was shown about Pax Americana and the establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal world. It has been shown, this system, to generate mere poverty. Who believes in it now?
“What we now have to do is define the future of the world. Dawn is breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and Europe and Latin America and Oceania. I want to emphasize that optimistic vision.”