By A. Puigdollers Al-Kettani
Published Oct 2, 2006
Starting Sept. 20 the corporate media-industrial-military complex here released a tsunami of lies and attacks against President Hugo Chávez Frías for publicly stating the sentiment of the poor and oppressed and the developing countries worldwide about President George W. Bush by calling him “the devil.” While he has drawn the anger of Washington, Chávez has won the admiration and support of people and liberation movements, especially throughout the Middle East and Latin America.
President Chávez’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly opening this year exposed the role of U.S. imperialism, which is only able to dominate the world through military might. This domination keeps the majority of the world’s population poor and underdeveloped. Some 40 percent of the world’s population live in abject poverty and another 40 percent in poverty (U.N. Human Development Report 2005), with the 80-percent total an increase from 66 percent of world population in the 1960s.
Chávez called U.S.-style of democracy, “the false democracy of elites ... a very original democracy that’s imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons” at poor and working people. “I have the feeling, dear world dictator [Bush], that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.
“Yes, you can call us extremists, but we are rising up against the empire, against the model of domination.”
But the racist profiling, harassment and detention of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro and some members of his staff at the JFK airport on Sept. 25 are a direct attack on the sovereignty and Bolivarian Revolution. At a news conference, Maduro called this provocation a “direct violation of international human and diplomatic rights. ...” “This is a Nazi government, a racist government that does not care for people that have darker skin, very curly hair like myself and live in the south like the Africans, the Arabs, the Asians and Latin Americans.”
This attack on Maduro came two days after President Chávez signed discounted oil agreements with 201 community organizations and Indigenous nations at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Harlem, N.Y.
As President Chávez was speaking in Harlem, a New York City police officer pulled the power plug from the live satellite feed broadcasting to Venezuela and either the same cop or another one accosted a Venezuelan security officer. At that time, Secret Service officers intervened and dragged the police officer away.
All these recent attacks began with the denial of entry on U.S. soil of Chávez’s medical team and chief of security, even before Chávez’s U.N. speech.
Energy aid for the poor
Chief Ian Erith of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, which represents 231 nations and “promotes self-determination,” thanked the Bolivarian Revolution for the aid it promised this coming winter. Erith said, “Alaska is rich in natural resources and 10 percent of the U.S. oil supply comes from Alaska, but we pay the highest price for gasoline—over $8 per gallon and heating fuel over $7 per gallon and we were worried about how to survive this winter, which is forecast to be long and cold.”
Though Citgo, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA, has no outlets in Alaska, it will still bring heat to over 12,000 homes in 151 villages in Alaska with a gift of 100 gallons of heating oil per family, at an estimated cost of $5 million.
Hosting the Harlem meeting was the Honorable Dr. Charles Curtis, reverend at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, actor and chairman of TransAfrica Danny Glover, and Félix Rodríguez, who is president of Citgo.
Speaking in Harlem, Chávez said, “We are not enemies of the U.S. That is a lie. We are friends of the people of the U.S., whom all of you here represent with dignity, and we would like you to work; cooperate and look for cooperative, friendship, exchange, interchange, cultural, educational routes with us.
Chávez said that people in 11 states, including more than 220 Native tribes, are taking part in the discounted-oil program this year.
Last year “40 percent [of our oil shipped to the U.S.] went to poor communities. At a discount of 40 percent. And in the case of shelters we do not charge anything. In sum, 180,000 benefited from the 2005-2006 program.”
In his Sept. 20 talk, Chávez discussed the situation at the United Nations itself: “The U.N. system, born after the Second World War, collapsed. It’s worthless.
“But we, the [General] Assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible situation in the world. And that is why Venezuela once again proposes, here, today, September 20, that we re-establish the United Nations.”
He proposed that all members of the U.N. meet for a week face-to-face in a round table to discuss matters and come up with solutions.
Chávez raised four other major points: (1) That leaders of developing countries be included in the Security Council on a permanent basis. (2) Transparent decisions on solving world matters. (3) “Immediate suppression—and that is something everyone’s calling for—of the anti-democratic mechanism known as the veto, the veto on decisions of the Security Council.” (4) “Strengthen the role and the powers of the secretary general of the United Nations.”
“Venezuela is fully committed to combating terrorism and violence,” said Chávez. He discussed how U.S. CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles virtually confessed to his crime of blowing up a Cubana Airline over Barbados in 1976, killing all 73 people on board, but the U.S. government has double standards. It protects terrorism when it wants to and is protecting Posada Carriles now.
Along with the public talk in Harlem, Chávez also spoke on Sept. 20 at Cooper Union college to a packed auditorium, where he discussed the Bolivarian Revolution’s success in educating ordinary Venezuelans.
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