Funny you should ask! He’s there to sign trade treaties:
…and be guest of honor at a luncheon, where president Cristina Fernández gave this very moving, emotional toast in thanks for Venezuela’s help in getting Argentina through its economic crisis of a decade ago:
And yes, for her this is very personal; her late husband, Néstor Kirchner, was president of Argentina then. More than half the country was below the poverty line in the wake of the great sovereign debt default, and many were starving. The situation was dire for Kirchner, who was just newly elected–narrowly edging out Carlos Menem, whose policies were largely to blame for Argentina’s crisis in the first place. Kirchner was widely expected to continue in the Menem vein because he had no other apparent choice, but he was too smart for that. He called on Chavecito for help, and Chavecito came through. The IMF is no longer breathing down Argentina’s neck because Chavecito helped Néstor Kirchner kick ’em to the curb. (And if the grateful comments on Cristina’s Facebook page are anything to go by, droves of Argentines happily credit him with changing their lives for the better.)
Oh yeah, and the ‘Cito is also in country to pick up a prize…for supporting popular journalism, no less:
The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, will receive an award on Tuesday from the faculty of journalism of the University of La Plata for his “support for popular communication”, according to academic sources on Saturday.
Chávez will be at the university to receive the Rodolfo Walsh Prize for Latin American presidents supporting popular communication, as part of a visit to Argentina to meet with his counterpart Cristina Fernández, according to the dean of the faculty, Florencia Saintout.
“We clearly believe that in Venezuela there is freedom of the press and we will present the award to the president in recognition of his support for popular media,” said the dean in an interview with Radio Diez in Buenos Aires.
“The Rodolfo Walsh prizes are awarded to those in Argentina and Latin America who support popular communication, democracy and the freedom of the peoples,” states a press release from the university.
For this reason, the Venezuelan leader will receive the honor “for having demonstrated his unquestionable and genuine dedication toward the liberty of the peoples, consolidating Latin American unity, defending human rights, and being in accordance with the truth and democratic values,” according to the faculty.
“For us it’s been a great joy to know that Chávez will come to receive the award, but also so he can talk and discuss with the students,” said the dean, who has also awarded the same prize in 2008 to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales.
I thought I’d better give you that because the anglo whore media will probably be giving you the business about how Venezuela is fast turning into North Korea, and how there’s zero journalistic freedom and reporters are being jailed and killed for not marching in lockstep with government demands, or some such codswallop. (Speaking of cod and walloping, will someone please take that fish and whack the Financial Times? Their presstitution stinks of cheap cologne. Can’t believe they want us to register just to see that drivel.)
And if you wonder why the prize is named for Rodolfo Walsh, and why Chavecito of all people was chosen to receive it, read up on him. Any Argentine who lived through the military dictatorship of the late ’70s and early ’80s could tell you that it’s quite fitting that Chavecito receive a prize named for a fellow leftist freedom-fighter. There was a huge crackdown on press freedom in Argentina then. Even foreign pop music wasn’t kosher, presumably because of the salacious and subversive thoughts it might foster. And the presstitutes of the commercial media there were more than happy to comply and self-censor accordingly, painting the ultra-capitalist “National Reorganization Process” as salvation instead of the ruin it was. It was up to brave individuals like Rodolfo Walsh to stand up to that and tell the truth–and in Walsh’s case, die for it.
Chavecito himself was jailed for standing up to a dictator who was never called that–the late Carlos Andrés Pérez, who toadied to the IMF just as the Argentine junta had, and who tyrannized and killed his fellow Venezuelans to enforce IMF policy, until his impeachment in 1993–and who even called for a dictatorship to replace Chavecito! In fact, just three days ago, Venezuela celebrated the 17th anniversary of Chavecito’s exit from Yare Prison, which was such a momentous occasion that the media were there to catch it all on tape:
Check out those crowds. Clearly this was no common criminal being pardoned and let go. In fact, no criminal at all in the eyes of his people. That’s right, the ex-military “putschist” that your friendly media whores and presstitutes have told you is a dictator…is in fact a popular hero. That’s why he swept the elections just four years later, and has been doing so ever since.
And his support for alternative, independent and community media is strong because he knows all too well how corrupt the corporate media are, and how far from truly independent. The people of Venezuela need voices that no conventional corporation is going to give them. The major media censored much of the news about him during his imprisonment, and did so quite happily because they and the now defunct AD/COPEI duopoly of Venezuela were the coziest of cronies. The big media chains don’t need his support, they have their corporate owners and sponsors, and their discredited buddies in what’s left of the old parties. And they are still free to print and broadcast whatever lies they want, and you are still free to believe them.
But if you’re as smart and as independent as you think you are, you’d do better to learn to look beyond them, as I have. And to look at the real situation in Venezuela, Argentina, indeed all of Latin America…which is changing for the better thanks to leaders like Cristina and him.
¡Viva Cristina, viva Chávez, viva Latinoamérica LIBRE!