Let Us Not Be Too Quick to Hail Chavez
11.04.2005 14:30 | DISPATCHES
Urged on by soccer legend Diego Maradona, ten thousand protesters chanted "Get out, Bush on Friday, November 4, by way of welcoming our president to Mar Del Plata. The Argentinean resort is hosting the Summit of the Americas, where the administration will promote its Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) proposal. While expected to ultimately pass, it has stalled amid opposition by, among others, Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, who was expected to address the protesters before attending the summit.
Chavez, wise not to take rumors of threats upon his life and administration by the US lightly, has implemented some remarkable, quasi-socialist programs for his people. For example, as he explained on Democracy Now, he's set up "Urban Land Committees" all over Venezuela.
"The members of this committee. . . draft the map of the neighborhood. They go house by house, family by family and they assess all the problems. If they lack running water or if some of the houses are unstable and they could fall down. . . The schools. The health care system. . ."
However, despite giving voice to thoughts many of us have entertained and branding the US a terrorist nation for harboring the likes of Pat Robertson (who called for Chavez's assassination), let us not be too hasty to place Chavez on a pedestal.
As documented in The Al Qaeda Connection by Paul L. Williams (Prometheus Books, 2005), his former personal pilot claimed that, after 9/11, Chavez awarded al Qaeda a gift of one million dollars. (That is, if you can see your way clear to believing the source, World Net Daily's Joseph Farah).
He also toured the Middle East in 2002 and listened on as friend and mentor Castro told cheering Muslim students: "Together we will bring America to its knees." (This source--UPI--can't be impugned.) Then, the Chavez administration granted thousands of individuals, including Middle-Easterners, identity papers to assist them in emigrating to Central America and the US (US News & World Report, this time).
Nevertheless. . . God have mercy on our souls if we invade his country.