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  • Our New Best Friends: Getting to Know Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez

    Now that President Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have decided they want to be better friends and move toward a closer relationship, it is important for people in the U.S. to get to know Venezuela’s mercurial, but democratically-elected President better. One of the challenge ahead will be reconciling the gaping double standards in Mr. Chavez’s manner of conduct and his selective attention to the instruments of international justice.

    On April 22, the government of Venezuela issued an international arrest warrant to Interpol for Manuel Rosales, the elected mayor of the important city of Maracaibo. Rosales is known as a vigorous opponent of Chavez and stood against him the 2006 presidential elections. Rosales, the Venezuelan government claims, misappropriated $60,000. Rosales fears he will not receive a fair trial in Venezuela and for this reason he fled to Peru.

    On the other hand, Chavez is still waiting to set a date for a visit to Venezuela by Sudan’s Islamist President Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir, president of Sudan since 1993, is viewed internationally as a prime architect of the massive human rights violations perpetrated in the Darfur region of Sudan resulting in at least 200,000 — perhaps as many as 400,000 — deaths and millions of refugees and displaced persons. The invitation was extend by Chavez to al-Bashir earlier this month when the two met in the Middle East.

    A warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest was issued by the International Criminal Court [ICC] for international “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” on March 4, 2009.

    Venezuela is a party to the Rome Treaty Statute of the International Criminal Court and has agreed to abide by its rulings and honor its warrants for arrest. But according to Venezuela’s opposition newspaper Tal Cual, an el-Bashir visit to would not raise problems with Venezuela’s police and judicial institutions as they are fully staffed with Chávez loyalists. Therefore, Chavez’s friend “Don Omar” would be free to come and go, without regard to the ICC’s warrant, as they say in Spanish, like, “Pedro in his own house.”

    This is the man who says to President Obama, “I want to be your friend,” and wants to build a better hemispheric community.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Our New Best Friends: Getting to Know Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez

    1. Gustavo Tapias, Pemb says:

      Good article. You missed other significant events:

      1. Undermining the constitution and replacing Mayors in Caracas, Governors in three major states with appointed administrators to oversee their activities, merging states and non-red with a red state.

      2. Imprisoning Raul Baduel and friend a a foe of Chavez in 2007. Not a charge against him. Just being help on a "possbility of flight risk".

      3. Federalizing all ports without proper authority.

      4. Taking over land without proper compensation. One of their's is Manuel Rosale's ranch.

      5. Nationalizing the rice industry. Expropiating Cargil's rice plant.

      6. Imprisoning three police officers with trumpt up charges that were alledgely involved in the 2002 uprising and coup.

      7. Trying to close down Globovision, the second netowrk that will be closed after RCTV.

      8. Looking the other way with crimes commited by the ex mayor or Maracaibo, the leader of the paramilitary grooup of the "Piedrita" with persecutes non-red citizens opposed to Chavez.

      9. And on and on and on… Do more research, you will find more skeletons in the closet.

      And this all happened in the last three weeks.

      Venezuela is lost and unless people stop marching and start with a rebellion. There other solution other than to eliminate Hugo Chavez by peaceful methods or violent. It doesn't matter, he does not respect his own constitution. He tried and aborted coup of 1992. He does not respect anyone.

    2. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      President Obama's entire mission is to be 'liked.' He really doesn't care if America is liked around the world as long as He is. Why else would he sit still for nearly an hour while Ortega delivered a deceitful diatribe about Obama's country? Chavez, Ortega and the Castro brothers may actually believe the same things about the role of government as does Obama.

      Obama understands the cult of personality he has built around himself and intends to build that into a powerful tool to change the nation. And what could go wrong with that?


    3. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      I am really amazed how many people that write about Obama in the media including the right, believe that Obama is naive or he wants others particularly our enemies to like the US. It is all nonsense.

      Obama's associations and his pronouncements during the campaign clearly paint a picture of him as a socialist with well developed narcissistic persona, and more importantly hates America just like his pastor Jeremiah Wright does. His view of rise of terrorism as American-policy induced coincides with the similar views of his pastor, Farrakhan and his wife. He is however a puppet as some people behind the screen are pulling his strings. Remember, he got into the White House after spending record-breaking $700Million. The key contributors that made him are reaping the benefit.

      His display of affection and tolerance to diatribe of hate-filled speeches by Ortega and Chavez is no different than his associations with Bill Ayer and Jeremiah Wright. We need to realize this soon in order to take back our country before it is irretrievably lost, as Venezuela is.

    4. Barb -mn says:

      Isn't it apparent, Obama opposes all who love this country and supports all (American and foreign) who hate it?

    5. Debra, Texas says:

      Yes, Barb of MN, that's very obvious.

      Maybe there is a second way to get into his cabinet besides evading taxes?

      I don't think being a draft dodger would be enough. You have to really hate the country and proove it in some way.

    6. mike baker says:

      It may have been a mistake to elect a president who grew up despising the U.S.A.

    7. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Shiek Obama as an enemy of the Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights, neither suprizes me, nor amazes me. He only embarresses America and its Citizens everytime he appologizes for our "Arrogance", shakes hands with our Enemies", and Bows before not only ones that hold us hostage with oil prises but truely TORTURE' people with nail boards, whips, salt on wounds and running them over with thier Mercedes automobiles! Study World History lemmings, the same things were done by the 'Brown Shirts" in Germany!


    8. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      He is determined to destroy this country, and is in the bed with the devil in Venezula. We now see who is his best friend and it is not the American people.

    9. Idarae Stockton, CA says:

      Everything Obama is doing is only to keep people in an uproar and off of what is REALLY HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES with the EU, one world gov of which we are now apart of it They dont want any of us to concentrate on the fact that the EU and Obama is "throwing out the CONSTITUTION AND EVERYTHING "AMERICA" WE ARE OR SOON TO BE SLAVES TO THE BIG BANKERs.Notice how Obama put all his people in place from the STOCKMARKET, Notice also that when Reagan and Bush also,were in office they spent so much time in his office he didn't have time to "cry"about what people were saying? Obama is doing "nothing" but play, party and complain, he is only a "puppet" so who is pulling the "strings?" Good bye America and hello Jesus.

    10. JERRY PUYALLUP,WA says:


      Well said ,I agree with your take on BO

    11. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      B.O. with all his Criminal Friends!

    12. Carlos says:

      I really hope president obama, wont follow this path he, maybe being very naive, says hes goin to follow, cause by getting freind with chavez, and therefore, giving him some sort of legitimacy will only encourage him to keep abusing of those (like me) who oppose him, im only 19, but ive lived 10 years of my life under chavez autocracy and the few glimpse of hope we receive now and then comes from the democratic world that thanks god keep pointing out chavez abuses…

      If the united state becomes his friend and gives this legitimasy, even without doing so, chavez is so smart, that is capable of turning a simple handshake into a victory for the revolution, the only thing that is going to come from this, is alienating those venezuelan, the democratic venezuelans against the united state, and for once, both chavista and opposition will have something in common, hate and misstrust for the united state, cause no matter how many handshakes obama may have with chavez, THEY WILL ALWAYS HATE THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA

      And if The united states of america, leaves us, the democratic venezuelans alone, that would be anought for me to hate them, and i-m sure lots of venezuelans in the oppositions will feel that way…

      we are being crushed, harash, persecuted, please fot look to the other side.

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