Big, bad, brave Dubya–whatta man. He’s so not afraid of Chavecito that when asked about him by a reporter, he does what any red-blooded gringo cowboy would do…
…he dodges the question in the hope that no one will notice how he’s quaking in his too-big boots.
“Hugo Chavez suggested that you are afraid to mention his name,” asked a U.S. journalist yesterday, “so are you? and how much of a threat is he to United States interests in the hemisphere?”
Rather than respond or decline to answer, Bush changed the subject.
“To South America and Central America to advance a positive constructive diplomacy that’s being conducted by my government on behalf of the American people,” Bush began, “My message to the people in our neighborhood is that we care about the human condition and that we believe the human condition can be improved in a variety of ways. One, investment and so the question is how can we have constructive dialogue with our neighbors as to how to spread the benefits of investment.”
Translation: Bend over and spread ’em, this won’t hurt a bit unless you struggle.
In other words, just the kind of talk we expect from a cowardly bully who is prone to fantasies of sodomy. Notice, however, that not one word of that has anything to do with the price of tea in China–or Chavecito.
Bush stated that he is also “reminding people that the US taxpayer is most generous, when it comes to bilateral aid.” According to the President bilateral aid to Latin American has doubled under his Presidency to $1.6 billion annually, “and most of the money is aimed at social justice programs, programs like education and health care.”
Meanwhile, back in Bush’s America, healthcare and education are both going to pot. The latter is going to pot so there’ll be more warm, underemployed bodies to send off to war; the former, as a result of so much money being diverted from healthcare to warmongering, that the casualties of warmongering have no more healthcare left, and thus no choice but to be sent back to war. The common denominator here? Cash grudgingly given, when it’s given at all.
Memo to the Uruguayans: Don’t count on seeing one red cent from BushCo, and if you do, take a close look at the strings attached. You’ll find several.
“And so the trip is a statement of the desire to work together with people in our neighborhood,” Bush continued, “I’ve been to Central and South America a lot since I’ve been the president, because I fully understand that a prosperous neighborhood is in the interest of the United States of America. I would call our diplomacy quiet and effective diplomacy. Diplomacy all aimed at helping people. Aimed at elevating the human condition. Aimed at expressing the great compassion of the American people.”
By now, his interlocutor must’ve been wondering what the hell this clown was babbling about. For one thing, Dubya has most certainly NOT spent much time in Central and South America since he stole the election of ’00–even the Shoe Queen, his most frequent errand-girl, hasn’t been there often, or been particularly well-received whenever she showed her
face Ferragamos. And when she did turn up, Chavecito made merciless fun of her.
For another, the “diplomacy” in question has been neither quiet nor effective, least of all where Venezuela is concerned. The flopped coup of ’02, as Chavecito so astutely noted, smelled of Bush’s oily fist. Ever since then, Dubya’s been on the back foot, and were it not for the war on Iraq and the planned war on Iran, there’d be a war on Venezuela. As it is, the latest piece of “quiet, effective diplomacy” is, as Chavecito rightly notes, a professional killer. (Just ask the Hondurans about Ambassador Negroponte sometime–especially if you want to hear a long, colorful string of Spanish expletives.)
If Dubya’s hoping to drum up local support for anything like that, he won’t be getting much. Unlike Saddam Hussein (and indeed Dubya himself), Chavecito is not only democratically elected, he’s wildly popular in Venezuela and just about everywhere else. Chavecito’s friend Lula, for example, had to urge Bushie-boy to respect Latin American sovereignty. Guess who he was really talking about.
No, Chavecito won’t be isolated, and that’s just what Dubya’s afraid of…especially when the questioning comes back around to the ol’ point that those pesky reporters just won’t let drop:
Journalist Maria Jose Pino from Uruguay Television asked President Bush, “Taking in to account, the regional context in which we find ourselves, governed by leaders such as Vasquez, Lula, Kirchner, Hugo Chavez, Morales, and Bachelet, what differences and similarities do you find among them, and what is your opinion of Vasquez and Uruguay?”
George Bush–who by his answer appeared to have missed the first half of the question–responded, “the temptation is to try to get people to talk about their differences. I want to talk about our commonalities. We share respect for each other. We respect our countries. We respect our histories and traditions and we share respect for a government where the people decide who’s in charge. Interestingly enough, we both have gotten rid of colonial powers in our past and I think it’s that heritage that makes Uruguay and the United States such natural partners.”
“We talk about the need to invest and grow economies through investment,” Bush continued. “That’s common ground that leads to a positive relationship. We both recognize that education is vital for the success of our respective countries.”
Maria, Maria, Maria…surely you should know better by now than to ask double-barrelled questions! That just lets the interviewee pick which one he’ll answer. And as you can see, Dubya chose to stay “on message”–not address your real point at all!
Meanwhile, if you want someone who’s not afraid to tackle the issues head-on, there’s the guy whose name Bush is too afraid to hear, never mind utter:
PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ: [translated by Democracy Now] On the other side of the river, that is where that little gentleman of the North must be. Let’s give him a big boo! Gringo, go home!
I am convinced that our friends in Brasilia and in Montevideo are not going to feel offended, because we would not want to hurt any of our brethren from Uruguay or Brazil. We recognize their sovereignty. We recognize that those governments have the sovereign right to invite the little gentleman of the North, if they so choose.
But Kirchner and I don’t need to plan anything to sabotage this visit, because we are witnessing the true political cadaver. The President of the United States is a political cadaver. He doesn’t even smell of sulfur anymore. He doesn’t even smell of sulfur or brimstone, if you will. No longer. What you smell from him now is the stench of political death. And not long from now, he will turn to dust and disappear. So we don’t need to put forth any effort to sabotage the visit of the President of the United States to some countries, sisters countries of Central and South America, of course. We don’t need to do that. It’s a simple coincidence, the visit of Nestor to Venezuela and our visit here to Buenos Aires.
Well, we nevertheless need to thank that little gentleman that’s visiting us, because if he were not here in South America, perhaps this event would not be so well-attended. We have organized this event to say no to the presence of the chief of the empire here in the heroic lands of South America.
The imperial little gentleman that’s visiting Latin America today said about seventy-two or forty-eight hours ago in one of his speeches, when he was announcing that he was leaving for Latin America, he compared Simon Bolivar to George Washington. In fact, he even said the ridiculous thing — and I can’t say it’s hypocrisy, because it is simply ridiculous, the most ridiculous thing he could say. He said, today we are all children of Washington and Bolivar. That is, he thinks that he is a son of Bolivar. What he is is a son of a — but I can’t say that word here.
So he has sa
id — he has said — and you should listen to what he said here — he said that now is the time to finish the revolution that Washington and Bolivar commenced . How’s that for heresy? That is heresy and ignorance, because we have to remember — and I say this with all due respect to George Washington, who is historically one of the founding fathers of that country — but we must also remember the differences and how different George Washington and Simon Bolivar were, are and will always be.
George Washington won a war to gain the independence of the North American economic elite from the English empire, and when Washington died, or, rather, after his independence and after having been the president of the United States, after ordering the massacre of the indigenous peoples of North America, after defending slavery, he ended up being a very rich owner of slaves and of a plantation. He was a great landowner. That was George Washington.
Simon Bolivar, however, was born with a silver spoon, and at eight years old his parents died and he inherited a large fortune, together with his brothers, and he inherited haciendas and slaves. Simon Bolivar, when history led him — and as Karl Marx said, men can make history, but only as far as history allows us to do so — when history took Bolivar and made him the leader of the independence process in Venezuela, he made that process revolutionary. Simon Bolivar turned over all of his land. He freed all of his slaves, and he turned them into soldiers, and he brought them here. He brought them to Peru and Carabobo, and he worked together with the troops of San Martin to liberate this continent. That is Simon Bolivar.
And Simon Bolivar, having been born with that silver spoon in his mouth, when he died on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, when he died on December 17 in 1830, he was dressed with a shirt of someone else, because he had no clothes. Simon Bolivar is the leader of the revolution of this land. He is the leader of the social revolution, the people’s revolution, the historical revolution. George Washington has nothing — nothing — to do with this history.
It was in 1823 that James Monroe said, “America for the Americans.” And when I say this tonight, I say it because I want to remind you, my brothers of Argentina, of Venezuela and of America, that the presence of the President of the United States in South America represents all of that. He represents that Monroe Doctrine of America for the Americans. Well, we will have to tell him: North America for the North Americans and South America for the South Americans. This is our America.
The President of the United States, that political cadaver — and when I say political cadaver, he would like to see me as a real cadaver — I want him to be a political cadaver, and he already is a political cadaver. The President of the United States has the lowest level of credibility and acceptance from his own people. He is the current president of the United States.
It would appear that he doesn’t even dare mention my name, because he was asked in Brasilia today in a press conference — I saw it, I watched it at the hotel — and the journalist asked him, "It is said that you are here to stop Chavez’s movement in South America." And it looked like he almost had a heart attack when he heard “Chavez,” because he actually stuttered a couple of times, and he actually changed the subject. He didn’t answer the question. He didn’t answer the question at all. So he doesn’t even dare.
And I definitely dare to say his name. The President of the United States of North America, George W. Bush, the little gentleman of the North, the political cadaver that is visiting South America, that little gentleman is the president of all the history of the United States, and in the history of the United States, he has the lowest level of approval in his own country. And if we add that to the level of approval that he has in the world, I would think he’s in the red now — negative numbers.
Bet you wish you were interviewing him, eh Maria?
Personally, though, I find that nothing speaks louder than this photo taken at a summit of the Organization of American States a couple of years ago:
There’s Chavecito, totally cool as he goes about his business. Behind him, Dubya scurries by like a cucaracha, pretending not to see him. But you can see by Dubya’s face that he’s scared shitless of a leader whose name, by now, is practically synonymous with success.
And he should be.