Hugo Chavez
April 18, 2006 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Hugo Chavez to Carlos the Jackal: "My doctor has told me that my spirit must nourish itself on danger to preserve my sanity, in the manner that God intended, with this stormy revolution to guide me in my great destiny.
posted by semmi (59 comments total)
 
Sounds like someone just can't quit someone.
posted by loquax at 12:41 PM on April 18, 2006


Get a new doctor.
posted by jikel_morten at 12:42 PM on April 18, 2006


That was fascinating!
posted by swlabr at 12:46 PM on April 18, 2006


Even the GNN condemns Hugo for this! When I first heard they were pals, I laughed my ass off. Castro, Morales, Hussein, fine. Harry Belafonte and Cindy Sheehan, hilarious, but sure. Love letters to Carlos the freakin' Jackal? This is evil genius territory!

I also am amused that he may be the one world leader more devoted to the Christian God than George Bush (and the Pope, I suppose).
posted by loquax at 12:55 PM on April 18, 2006


I was fairly ambivalent about Chavez before this. Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (Carlos) is the worst kind of creature there is. He’s a murdering terrorist bastard without even the consolation of political agenda or principle. Not even loyal to money, as a mercenary he’s betrayed his own employers. I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire. I can’t imagine offering him a kind word. That Chavez has anything to do with him seriously diminishes my estimation of Chavez.

...nifty post though.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:56 PM on April 18, 2006


So Hugo's got a boner for a terrorist murder.

Big surprise?

Nah.
posted by 1016 at 12:57 PM on April 18, 2006


This letter was written seven years ago, so it's nothing new. Still, this might have started to be an interesting and relevant FPP if you had, for example, linked also to this 2002 piece in the Guardian about the Chavez/Carlos/oil relationships. Chavez is interested in the human rights of Carlos, a native of Venezuela, who in 1975 attacked the OPEC ministers at their meeting in Vienna. The Guardian piece is an interesting read in the light of today's oil market given that oil was $20 a barrel at the time it was written.
posted by beagle at 12:59 PM on April 18, 2006


Meh, Chavez is a fan of the Jackal's because they share similar Marxist Bolivarian politics (insomuch as Sanchez has politics), and both hate the US. There isn't much more to it than that I can see. Certainly no reason whatsoever for a leader of a country to have any justification for contacting or generally speaking positively about him.
posted by loquax at 1:13 PM on April 18, 2006


Is the title Chavez' own, or was it added by the Harper's editors?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:13 PM on April 18, 2006


Clearly, we need to invade Argentina. The United States is the only country in the world allowed to have an inept, borderline-insane leader.
posted by wakko at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2006


He’s a murdering terrorist bastard without even the consolation of political agenda or principle.

Not that I think a political agenda necessarily justifies murder or terrorism, but I thought Carlos was fairly consistently Marxist?
posted by jefgodesky at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2006


wakko writes "Clearly, we need to invade Argentina. The United States is the only country in the world allowed to have an inept, borderline-insane leader."

This (nonsensical) line of reasoning always appears in arguments about Chavez here. It's helpful when those putting it forward are so clearly ignorant.

Or were you making some subtle Saudi Arabian terrorists --> Iraq invasion joke? Bush can't even invade the right country, or something like that?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:26 PM on April 18, 2006



"Clearly, we need to invade Argentina. The United States is the only country in the world allowed to have an inept, borderline-insane leader."


I can't tell if you're being dense or extra-super-droll, but Carlos and Chavez are Venezuelan...
posted by stenseng at 1:28 PM on April 18, 2006


what he said
posted by stenseng at 1:28 PM on April 18, 2006


we can invade them next.
posted by wakko at 1:29 PM on April 18, 2006


still not getting it wakko...

maybe the left-ening of Latin America as a whole is your referent?
posted by punkbitch at 1:51 PM on April 18, 2006


> Carlos and Chavez are Venezuelan...

What fun is Venezuela? I'm with wakko, I want to invade Rio.
posted by jfuller at 1:52 PM on April 18, 2006


George Bush gets messages from God, this is nothing.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:52 PM on April 18, 2006


that's some good snark jfuller. as you're well aware, Rio and La Paz are both in Equatorial Guinea.

on another note, that Guardian piece is interesting. non-opec countries don't have to stick to the cartel price ... that is to say they can sell for cheaper. I never knew that.
posted by punkbitch at 1:56 PM on April 18, 2006


And Hu Jintao once brutally repressed a series of protests in Tibet. And Robert Mugabe wears a mustache just like Hitler's. We can list random disconcerting facts about world leaders all day. What's your point?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:57 PM on April 18, 2006


And Hu Jintao once brutally repressed a series of protests in Tibet. And Robert Mugabe wears a mustache just like Hitler's. We can list random disconcerting facts about world leaders all day. What's your point?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:57 PM on April 18, 2006


Ah, but does he own a Che Guevara t-shrit? Does he?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:05 PM on April 18, 2006


Or were you making some subtle Saudi Arabian terrorists --> Iraq invasion joke? Bush can't even invade the right country, or something like that?

Obviously he was.
posted by delmoi at 2:10 PM on April 18, 2006


And Hu Jintao once brutally repressed a series of protests in Tibet. And Robert Mugabe wears a mustache just like Hitler's. We can list random disconcerting facts about world leaders all day. What's your point?

One time Bill Frist cut up a kitten he adopted to practice surgery while in Med School. And according to the Colbert Report, he's the next president of the US!
posted by delmoi at 2:12 PM on April 18, 2006


INVADE PERU NOW!
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on April 18, 2006


Ah, but does he own a Che Guevara t-shrit? Does he?

oh come on, everyone owns a che guevara tshirt, or at the very least a poster!!
posted by knapah at 2:15 PM on April 18, 2006



Or were you making some subtle Saudi Arabian terrorists --> Iraq invasion joke? Bush can't even invade the right country, or something like that?


I got it right away. The US should have invaded Saudi Arabia (majority of 9-11 terrorists) but instead invaded Iraq (no 9-11 terrorists). It would only make sense that Bush invaded Argentina next instead of Venezuela. Both in close proximity, you get the idea...
posted by j-urb at 2:16 PM on April 18, 2006


Even the GNN condemns Hugo for this! When I first heard they were pals, I laughed my ass off. Castro, Morales, Hussein, fine. Harry Belafonte and Cindy Sheehan, hilarious, but sure. Love letters to Carlos the freakin' Jackal? This is evil genius territory!

Chavez is a mixed bag. He's attempting to fight a proxy-war against the US in Colombia. Say what you will about Bolivarian revolution, Chavez is an old-school authoritarian.

He has sheltered a known FARC leader in Caracas, and Colombian police, with support from crooked members of the Venezuelan National Guard (and some think the CIA) went in and kidnapped him out. According to some reports, his Minister of the Interior signed an agreement with the FARC to provide oil and gas in exchange for a pledge for the FARC not to kidnap anyone in Venezuela. The Venezuelan Army has smuggled car bombs to the FARC, which they have employed to much success in Bogota. Venezuelan military aircraft have been attacking rival guerilla groups (AUC) inside Colombian territory, in support of the FARC. The FARC also operates large bases with immunity inside Venezuela, along the Venezuelan-Colombian border.

So, yeah he empowered Venezuela's poor and almost singularly brought down an entrenched oligarchy. Those are good things. He's also arming the poor with assault rifles, and destabilizing Colombia even more. The FARC are murderous scum who kidnap for ransom, and sometimes kill, about 4,000 people a year. They run most of the cocaine that comes out of Colombia. They kill hundreds of peasant farmers each year, who's only crime is supporting rival drug factions. They've been involved in a guerilla with the Colombian government and rightist paramilitary groups for 50+ years ever since "La Violencia" - a ten year civil war in which up to 300,000 people died...

The United States isn't doing the world any good either with it's use of the 4 billion dollars we send there every year, and all that round-up we've sprayed isn't good for anyone. Both the CIA, and the US government in total have done some truly bad things to South America, but Chavez shouldn't get a free pass for his support of terrorism either.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:18 PM on April 18, 2006


“...but I thought Carlos was fairly consistently Marxist?” - posted by jefgodesky

Mefier, please. He was forced out of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (in part) because he kept some ransom money for himself. Not to mention his ‘playboy’ lifestyle. Doesn’t sound like someone dedicated to ‘the cause,’ particularly a marxist one.
His “Armed Arab Struggle” outfit was there just to make money. He killed 20 innocent people to try to get the French government to free his wife, who he was pretty much looking to trade up anyway (and did).
Marxism - or any cause he’s supported - is just an excuse for mayhem, money, and to get himself hard catering to whatever narcissist fantasy he’s got going.

/I don't mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.

Terrorism is deplorable, and the politics of it all aside - I don’t picture say Dan Breen (IRA) screwing over his own people or betraying his own cause for money.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:19 PM on April 18, 2006


It's just fuel for our "invade Venezuela" push. Using a seven-year old letter celebrating the fact that Carlos and Chavez have a similar political bent to equate Chavez to terrorism is just fuel for the fire.

Soon, that whole "here's cheap oil" thing will become an illicit plot by Chavez to undermine American capitalism and destroy the world. Throwing out American oil companies will be bandied about as just another example of Chavez as terrorist-loving, capitalism-hating despot.

What? We're already doing that? Crap, my whole timetable's now shot...
posted by FormlessOne at 2:21 PM on April 18, 2006


“We can list random disconcerting facts about world leaders all day. What's your point?”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper once shot a man just for snoring!
posted by Smedleyman at 2:23 PM on April 18, 2006


Mefier, please.

It really was a question....

I'm still with SweetJesus's ambivalence on Chavez, though. I already knew that he kept company with the scum of the earth--that's one of the things that makes him so ambivalent in my book. He still hasn't done anything to tip my opinion of him into either camp of people I can support, or people I'm against....
posted by jefgodesky at 2:30 PM on April 18, 2006


sorry jefgodesky...didn't come across as lighthearted as I intended.

*looks for tone modulation dial*
posted by Smedleyman at 2:31 PM on April 18, 2006


...and I was that man!
posted by languagehat at 2:32 PM on April 18, 2006


Prime Minister Stephen Harper once shot a man just for snoring!

Actually, Harper was just pissed off because the guy kept calling him Paul Martin. The snoring thing was just gravy.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:50 PM on April 18, 2006


Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s front teeth were knocked out and every day he replaces them with two white chicklets.

German President Horst Köhler makes racecar noises and walks around with a cooler that says 'human head' on the side.

Brazillian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is constantly on “noogie patrol.”
Austrian President Heinz Fischer makes couch forts out of cushions.
(He did it at the White House with that peppermint striped couch in the Oval Office)
posted by Smedleyman at 5:04 PM on April 18, 2006


I think assasination would do the trick here (of Chavez).
posted by ParisParamus at 5:09 PM on April 18, 2006


Paris: well then you should just take a flight, pull the trigger.
posted by elpapacito at 5:21 PM on April 18, 2006


And in keeping with the oh-so-knowledgeable, actions-not-words standards of this thread, Paris is so on the plane to Bogotá tomorrow to take care of that thing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:24 PM on April 18, 2006


Please, take Pat "Let's take 'em out" Robertson with you for moral support.
posted by FormlessOne at 6:17 PM on April 18, 2006


Bogotá?

I don't think Uribe is going to be inviting Chavez for a visit any time soon....
posted by mr_roboto at 6:25 PM on April 18, 2006


You just know that Carlos the Ferret and Carlos the Turnip have got to be jealous.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:58 PM on April 18, 2006


* whooshing noise *
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:16 PM on April 18, 2006


Sorry; it's hard to tell in some of these threads. There was one a couple of weeks ago with a comment making Chavez president of Bolivia; a comment about Argentina today.... And a constant lack of faith about Americans and geography.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:20 PM on April 18, 2006


I laughed my head off at this thread. It flawlessly fulfills the stereotype of a certain kind of American, convinced he know what's right for the world, wants real bad to do him some killin', and he can't even find the countries he's talking about on a map.

It makes the outcome of the elections a little easier to understand -- like votes for like.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:25 PM on April 18, 2006


It makes the outcome of the elections a little easier to understand -- like votes for like.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:25 PM PST on April 18 [!]


And who is your wise, heroic leader?
posted by semmi at 8:15 PM on April 18, 2006


It's just fuel for our "invade Venezuela" push. Using a seven-year old letter celebrating the fact that Carlos and Chavez have a similar political bent to equate Chavez to terrorism is just fuel for the fire.

Damn straight. It's just that rabid far-right Harpers beating the war drums again. Man, if I only had a nickel for every time Louis Lapham called for blood ...

Or were you being facetious too? As others have said, hard to tell in this thread.
posted by donpedro at 8:18 PM on April 18, 2006


While I'm not too fluent in Spanish, I'm guessing that a phrase such as 'I feel that my spirit's own strength will always rise to the magnitude of the dangers that threaten it.' Doesn't sound as ridiculous in its original language as it does translated into English. This leads me to believe that whoever translated this letter wanted to play up the commie-revolutionarieness newspeak of Chavez's letter, hence further pigeonholing him as just another 'crazy South-American leftist'.

/deconstruction

Although that doesn't mean that I'm a fan of Chavez either. And actually I rather like Harper's.
posted by Kronoss at 8:56 PM on April 18, 2006


And who is your wise, heroic leader?

Unfortunately I know of no one of that description quixotic enough to plunge into the slime of a presidential election. But in the "settling for a good man who's also competent and understands Washington" division, I always did like Gore.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:19 PM on April 18, 2006


Seriously, PP, I'm sure Mefi would take up a collection to cover your one way ticket to Paramaribo and a box of 30.06 shells...
posted by stenseng at 9:41 PM on April 18, 2006


Seriously, stenseng, I ain't going near Venezuela.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:02 PM on April 18, 2006


Don't Cry for Me, Cupertino
posted by taosbat at 10:04 PM on April 18, 2006


Seriously, PP, what I don't truly fathom, is how you can advocate assassination of the democratically elected leader of a soveriegn nation.

Esplain that one to me?
posted by stenseng at 10:07 PM on April 18, 2006


"What fun is Venezuela? I'm with wakko, I want to invade Rio."

Pay attention, kids. This is an example of old skool trolling.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:08 AM on April 19, 2006


"Esplain that one to me?"

He is a thug. He sides with Castro. And do you really believe he was fairly elected?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:00 AM on April 19, 2006


Chavez was by most accounts elected fairly, and his presidency is a legitimate expression of the electorate's will. This is not to say that it's certain that elections will be fair the next time he runs, nor am I suggesting people should forget that he attempted a military coup several years before he was elected, nor am I suggesting it's not wise to view with skepticism many moves that smell a lot like attempts to consolidate power in his presidency, harrass opposition, and impose limits on the free press. With Chavez, time will tell. Meanwhile, let's please keep the itchy trigger fingers away from sniper rifles kthx.
posted by donpedro at 9:29 AM on April 19, 2006


"He is a thug. He sides with Castro. And do you really believe he was fairly elected?"

The Carter Center oversaw the election and certified the results. That's good enough by me. Yes, I really believe that he was fairly elected. I also really believe that the majority of Venezuelans (at least the 75% living below the poverty line) love the guy.

I further believe that what really sticks in this Administration's craw is not any potential human rights violations (abu ghraib/guantanamo what?,) or undermining of democratic principles (Florida, what?) or consolidating power in the executive (Dubya, what?) but simply that he's actually redistributing wealth in Venezuela, and in doing so, is dicking with the kleptocratic system that kept Uncle Sam in a good supply of cheap Venezuelan gasola.

Further, Chavez was far more fairly elected than our current Commander in Chump.
posted by stenseng at 9:53 AM on April 19, 2006


Further, your response is about as sensible as "he's a poopyhead!"


"He is a thug."

So are the heads of half the soveriegn nations of the world, including the US of A, at the moment.

"He sides with Castro. "

Yes, and? Castro is a largely irrelevant and harmless (to us) dictator who we don't like, not because he's a bad guy, but because he wouldn't play ball. We're no strangers to bedding down with criminals, as long as it's profitable. Take a visit to Chop Chop Square in Riyadh sometime if you don't believe me.
posted by stenseng at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2006


"And do you really believe he was fairly elected?"

That you would think otherwise is a product of your adherence to an ideology, not fact. I am sympathetic to many of the arguments against Chavez, but that his election and policies are not the will of the people is not one of them. He is a true populist, and greatly skilled at it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:35 PM on April 19, 2006


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