An unexpected homecoming: On the heels of revealing his medical plight to the Venezuelan public (he recently revealed he had cancer surgery), Hugo Chavez has returned to his homeland. “Here I am then, in my house and very happy!! Good day to my lovely Venezuela! Good day to the lovely people! Thanks to my God! This is the beginning of the return,” the leader wrote on Twitter. This comes as a surprise — he was expected to stay in Cuba for further treatment for some time, but it makes sense that he’d see a return as the only way to quell speculation he’s physically unable to remain President. source
Well, that’s no laughing matter. The Venezuelan leader — adored in some corners, criticized in others — finally made a statement on his bizarre leave of absence in the country he leads. He hasn’t just been hanging with Fidel Castro for kicks, guys. There was some real stuff going on. Cancerous cells, surgery, the whole bit. His vice president, Elías Jaua, says that he could stay out of the country for as long as six months, but he won’t take over his job in the meantime. So what does that mean for the country he leads? source
A true fighter for press freedom? He’s received the Rodolfo Walsh Prize from the Argentinian University of La Plata, so awarded for “unquestionable and authentic commitment to support the freedom of peoples.” Chavez has, as the university points out, created a broad public news outlet, but he’s also tightly muzzled and repressed independent and private media, making this award pretty controversial. Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional gives a dire take: “That a South American university doesn’t know about this grave situation and dares to honor this military leader with the Rodolfo Walsh Prize says much about the destruction of values that the Kirchners have imposed on the Argentine nation. Walsh was a victim of military repression and his example is now stained absurdly.” (photo via nicogenin on Flickr)source
I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet.
Venezuelan President Huge Chavez • Speaking on Tuesday, on the occasion of World Water Day. In making this theoretical argument about the mighty Martian State’s fall at the hands of capitalism and imperialism, Chavez at the very least couches this rather presumptive notion by saying it “would not be strange” to see such civilization, and that “maybe” that’s what happened. This is more humility, or at least hedging, than some who make unfalsifiable claims are willing to show. That said, it seems desperate to make a political point by any reference conceivable, and for a man whose real world behavior is at times bizarre and at times willfully ignorant (that being the most charitable way to describe his denial of Gaddafi’s force against citizens), this pseudo-scientific claim bolsters the idea of Chavez the eccentric. source
For those who wanted to see Chavez in a hard hat, here you go. Enjoy. The Venezuelan leader, a key ally of Gaddafi, took some time off from his tour of a road-building project in Caracas to let everyone know what he thinks of the Libyan airstrikes: “They want to seize Libya’s oil and they care nothing about the lives of the Libyan people. These are the men of war … what irresponsibility. Behind this is the hand of the United States and its European allies, instead of taking the path that we have modestly proposed.” In case you were wondering, that peace mission Chavez wanted to make didn’t go anywhere because Saif Gaddafi essentially said Chavez wouldn’t have any idea what was going on. source
Not to belabor the point: In a story that we’ve mentionedin days past, Hugo Chavez has been making noise about wanting to function as a peace negotiator in Libya. Setting aside for a moment arguments about the merits or lack thereof of the way Chavez runs Venezuela, you know what doesn’t bode well for this endeavor? Having your big time negotiator, who was a recipient of the self-evidently ridiculous “al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,” call reports of Gaddafi’s forces firing on citizens “a great lie.” Also, saying that “Gaddafi is not going anywhere, I’m sure. Gaddafi is among those men who die fighting.” So, that said, what exactly does Hugo hope to achieve for the people of Libya? source
What do Jimmy Carter, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Danny Glover and Sean Penn have in common? Word is that they’re on Hugo Chavez’s short list of a commission to go to LIbya to mediate peace. Confused about how Danny Glover fits into that mix? Well, it’s worth pointing out that Chavez is friends with Glover and has even offered money to help pay to make a Danny Glover movie. Anyway, Chavez earned some key local support for his endeavor from ALBA, or the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas. (The countries in the group include Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador, and the group itself was founded by Chavez.) Hugo’s all about making this happen. “We must make a very large effort, very large. We cannot lose even one day,” he said. source
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