In a recent interviewed to Greg Grandin, President Hugo Chavez made some remarkable comments about his international policy, ties to the United States, and the future of the Bolivarian Revolution. I think what made this interview something out of the ordinary is the rhetoric President Hugo Chavez deiced to use. We are accustomed to hear his constant insults towards the US and his speeches fill with mockery and name-calling to the opposition. The interview took place right after his speech to the UN. The Nation is an online left-liberal magazine followed by a good number of subscribers, most readers are very active politically speaking and follow international events closely. Would all this have had an influence on Chavez’s rhetoric? I can’t tell, but this time was different.
I think it is important to realize that Chavez was fully aware of the type of audience the Nation has, and he definitely have some self interest to capture that audience here in the US. The topics of discussion are also well crafted for Chavez’s interest, he needs to defend his position on his current international alliance and ideology expansion. Here are some examples of what he said:
Hopefully the people of the United States will demand from its president, and its government, and its congress, to stop with the politics of war throughout the world. Obama said some troublesome things today, veiled threats. I have the phrase here, if I am not mistaken, that the US “will know how to defend the interests of all.”
here within the United States, the recalcitrant right is scared. And they hate him. First, because he is black…
Obama is awakening a popular current in the people of the US, and they are trying to stop it. Where it is going to wind up, who knows? But I have a question, where is the US people? Where are the people, when their leader tries to propose something in benefit of the people? The people need to go out into the streets, not just to vote but to passionately protest, to support the president, so he can fulfill his promise. Where are the people?
We are leaving behind–slowly, but steadily, not in a day, a year or five years–oil dependency, advancing the industrialization of the country.
It requires a new world, with new values. As Jesus Christ says, “love others as yourself.” If you love others as yourself, you are incapable of hurting others. [Taken from thenation.com]
I don’t know about you, but when I read the interview it did not sounded as Chavez to me. He measured his responses very well, and it some instances he is congratulating the people of the US for their selection of President Obama. In contrast to other interviews, Chavez downplay the significance of his current economic crisis back home. Notice that he answers by admitting that his social reform is too dependent on oil and the current drop in the price of crude has affected his social reform. He fails to mention, as I posted before, that Venezuela has little to no industrialization revenues. I want to ensure that my purpose of writing this post is to compare what Chavez is doing in Venezuela to the Chavez out on the world presenting a picture of peace and harmony. He contradict himself, in one of his answers, he tell the American public to go to the streets and protest against the government, while in Venezuela he is constantly harassing the opposition. Again, I ask you to see those differences in what he is saying and what he is doing .
- Image: Reuter
- News Clip: http://www.thenation.com