President Hugo Chavez greets supporters in Austria during 2006 visit. Since re-election the Venezuelan leader has intensified the struggle for socialism.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Venezuelan President Clashes with the King of Spain at Latin American Summit
Chris Carlson - Venezuelanalysis.com
Caracas, November 12, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com )- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez clashed verbally with King of Spain Juan Carlos at the Latin American Summit in Chile on Saturday. The Spanish King told the Venezuelan president to "shut up" after losing his patience with Chavez' interventions at the Summit, causing a sharp response from the Venezuelan leader.
The conflict began after Chavez labeled former president of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, a "fascist" for his continued criticisms of Chavez and the political process in Venezuela. The comment offended the Spanish delegation led by current Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
"You all know that Jose Maria Aznar, I said it yesterday and I'll repeat it today, that man is a fascist," said the Venezuela President at the closing session of the Summit. Chavez accused Aznar of knowing about, and supporting the 2002 coup d'etat in Venezuela that temporarily overthrew the Chavez government.
President Chavez' statements provoked a response from Zapatero, who demanded "respect" for all political leaders, regardless of their ideology.
"You can be against a certain ideological position, and I am not very close to the ideas of Aznar, but he was elected by the Spanish people, and I demand respect," said Zapatero to Chavez.
But it was when Chavez attempted to answer Zapatero, explaining that the ex-president Aznar continues to criticize Venezuela in public, that King Juan Carlos lost his patience, and said to Chavez "Why don't you shut up?" while angrily pointing a finger at Chavez.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Cuban Vice-President Carlos Lage all came to the defense of the Venezuelan President, while President of Peru Alan Garcia expressed his support for the Spanish King, as did the government of Chile.
It wasn't until the following day that Chavez responded to the King's statements, saying that he hadn't heard what he said.
"People have asked me why I didn't respond to him, but I didn't hear what the King said," said Chavez to journalists outside his hotel in Chile. "There was noise. I didn't even see the king, or hear him."
The Venezuelan president stated that he would never shut up, and accused the Spanish king of also supporting the 2002 coup d'état in Venezuela.
"I'm not going to shup up, and they won't shut me up because I'm not speaking for myself, I am speaking for millions, the millions who are the children of Bolivar, the millions who are children of Guaicaipuro and Manuela (Saenz), Jose Leonardo Chirinos, and all of those who the Spanish murdered, ambushed, and slaughtered here," he said.
Chavez directed a question directly at the Spanish King, demanding to know if he was involved in the Venezuelan coup.
"Now the debate has begun Mr. King. Answer this: Did you know about the coup d'état against Venezuela, against the democratic, legitimate government of Venezuela in 2002?"
Chavez asked if perhaps the King is angry about his comments against Aznar because he was also involved in the Venezuelan coup. Chavez explained that the Spanish government at that time openly supported the coup, and that the Spanish ambassador to Venezuela, along with the US ambassador, both went to the presidential palace in Venezuela to greet the coup leaders.
"The Spanish ambassador, with the US ambassador, went to applaud (the coup) while I was in jail," said Chavez. "It's very difficult to think that the Spanish ambassador is going to be in the presidential palace supporting the coup leaders without the authorization of His Majesty."
Although Chavez expressed concern about future relations between the two countries, and stated that he hopes they will not be affected, he assured that he would not change his posture.
"We've been here for 500 years and we'll never shut up, much less at the demands of a monarch," he said. "If I shut up, the people of Latin America would scream. They are ready to be free of all colonialism after 500 years."
Source URL: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/2827
Published on venezuelanalysis.com (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com)
Chavez: “Latin America Is Waking Up, and No One Can Stop It”
Kiraz Janicke - Venezuelanalysis.com
Caracas, November 9, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com) - "Latin America is waking up and no one can stop it" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said in a brief statement to the media as he arrived in Chile for the 17th Latin American Summit, Friday. Chavez, who was received by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and other Latin American leaders in Club Hipico, Santiago, added, that he was "very happy to be in the land of Allende."
The principal theme of the summit, which concludes on Saturday, is ‘Social Cohesion' and the search for a more inclusive society in Latin America.
Chavez said he supported the deliberations of the summit, which will approve two documents; the Declaration of Santiago and a Plan of Action, which will propose joint initiatives to deal with labour, health, education, taxes and corruption issues in Latin American states.
Although, he argued, "I don't much like the word ‘cohesion.' It is better to speak of social transformation; it is a more dynamic term in comparison with the word cohesion, which denotes statism."
Latin America is waking up, he declared, and nothing nor anyone can stop it. "There is an awakening of millions of people, indigenous, women, campesinos, and this is the most important thing because individually we do not make history, rather it is the people that make history."
However, he warned, "The Latin American rightwing is lining up to attack the Bolivarian revolution." They aim to undermine, "the series of changes that we are carrying out...a process of changes that has resonance in the region," he said, "using the power of the mass media to externally sell a surreal image of what is happening in Venezuela."
"They are preoccupied with what is happening in Venezuela," the Venezuelan president continued, "because what is happening is a revolution; a moral, political, democratic and peaceful revolution."
The oligarchy and rightwing elites of the continent, Chavez said, "Fear the Bolivarian revolution, this is why the attack us so much and satanize us."
These same elites that attack the Bolivarian revolution, Chavez explained, "are those that failed when they had the destiny of Venezuela and the region in their hands.
"The neoliberal rightwing failed in the 1990s to reduce poverty and misery," and now "the cause of this failure is being defeated by the revolution," he explained.
Chavez also criticised "the obscene blockade of Cuba" by the United States, and demanded that they comply with international law and hand over terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, wanted for the Cuban airline bombing in 1976, that killed 73 people.
Venezuela, with the support of Cuba, has solicited the extradition of Posada Carilles, a Venezuelan national, from the United States in order to charge him over the Cuban airline bombing. However, so far the US has refused to hand him over.
"I hope for the fall of North American imperialism, because this imperialism obeys no one. It only obeys its own obscene interests. This century, maybe in the first few years of this 21st century, North American imperialism, which has done so much damage to the Latin American people, will fall."
Chavez also plans to attend the parallel Summit of the Peoples at the University of Science and Art (USA) in Santiago, which opened this morning with a series of debates on social, environmental, economic and cultural themes, with an emphasis on the inequalities that afflict the continent.
Rector of the USA, Carlos Margotta, who inaugurated the summit, said it "aims to consolidate a platform of popular demands and strategic objectives for all the peoples and their organizations throughout the continent."
Forums throughout the summit will address the social problems experienced by millions of Latin Americans, and ways to end political exclusion and discrimination in the region. It will also deliver a document elaborated over three days of debate to the government leaders at the Latin American Summit.
The Summit of the Peoples closed on Saturday with a massive event in the Velodrome National Stadium, at which Chavez expected to spoke, along with Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, as well as Carlos Lage, the vice- President of Cuba.
Source URL: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/2816
Published on venezuelanalysis.com (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com)
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Instigating Student Violence
Chris Carlson - Venezuelanalysis.com
Mérida, November 9, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rejected statements from the US State Department yesterday, and accused the government of the United States of being involved in the violent events in Caracas. US spokesperson Sean McCormack had criticized the recent student violence in Venezuela, calling it "appalling," but Maduro claimed that the statement from the US is proof of their involvement in the acts.
"We don't have any doubt that the government of the United States has their hands in the scheme that led to the ambush yesterday," said Maduro, referring to a shootout between students at Caracas' Central University on Wednesday. Opposition groups quickly blamed the Chavez government after several students were wounded at the university, including at least one from gunshot wounds, after a violent clash between pro-Chavez and anti-Chavez students.
"We know this whole scheme. And the people of Latin America have reached a level of maturity about the politics of the empire, so that we know when a high-ranking official comes out about something happening in the world, in some country, that it means that the government of the United States is involved in some way or is looking to produce a further action," said Maduro.
The US State Department criticized Wednesday's violent events at a press conference on Thursday. Upon being questioned by reporters, State Department Spokesperson Sean McCormack labeled the events in Caracas "an appalling act."
"It's just an appalling act, and just another indication of the kind of atmosphere that you're seeing in Venezuela," he said, although he admitted that they do not know who is responsible, or who fired the shots. McCormack emphasized that violence had occurred against "peaceful protesters" who were expressing themselves against the proposed constitutional reform.
But the Venezuelan foreign minister rejected the claim and assured that the event at the university was "a vile attack" on a group of students that was meeting and organizing peacefully in support of the constitutional reform. Maduro accused both the US government and major media such as CNN of misrepresenting the events.
"It is obscene the role that CNN is playing right now, to attempt the impossible: the destabilization of the political atmosphere," he said.
Maduro accused the United States of playing a destabilizing role in the world, and assured that their discourse proves it.
"The desperation in the face, expressions, and language of this member of the state department that came out against our country, shows that their hand is behind all of these events." Maduro assured that the only thing that is "appalling" is the "criminal government" of the United States.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega also claimed that the government of the United States is behind the Venezuelan opposition movement, and offered his solidarity with the Venezuelan president.
"What we can do is express our solidarity with the revolutionary people of Venezuela and with our friend Hugo Chavez, who is being subjected to aggression from a counterrevolution fed by the traitors from inside the country and by the empire."
Ortega made the comparison to his own country, stating that the United States is also organizing opposition movements in his country that are "financed by the United States Embassy" in Managua.
But the Venezuelan minister discounted opposition efforts to defeat the upcoming referendum on the constitutional reform proposal, assuring that the Chavez government would win the election.
"We have no doubt that, as the surveys show, a huge majority of Venezuelans will vote 'yes' on the reform. And that moment on December 2nd, will be the moment that the Venezuelan people will cut down the declarations of the State Department, and we will teach them a lesson."
Source URL: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/2815