Venezuelan President Chavez criticises U.S. President Bush in U.N. address

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

In an address to the UN General Assembly in New York on September 20, 2006 Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, sharply criticized the US government and its policies.

At the same time he announced his country's bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, saying that it will speak for all countries which "have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible situation in the world" for which, he indicated, the US is responsible.

President Hugo Chávez said that the greatest terrorist threat for the world is the US government and its imperialistic policies. When speaking to the assembly, Chávez displayed the book "Hegemony or Survival", written by Noam Chomsky, and recommended "this excellent book" to the audience. He described this book as being written "clearly and in depth" an that "the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination."

He said that "the hegemonic intentions of the imperialistic power are threatening the world", and called on all the peoples of the world, including Americans, to respond to that threat.

He warned Americans that "The devil is right at home. The devil -- the devil, himself, is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday.", apparently referring to the United States President w:George W. Bush.

Hugo Chavez criticized Bush, saying the he was "talking as if he owned the world", and called him "the spokesman of imperialism".

Talking about the US efforts at nation-building, he said that it is "a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.", adding "What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize it or others who are at the root of democracy."

When pushing his agenda of democracy and free trade in Latin America, Chávez accused President Bush of being a racist, saying that President Bush would look "at your color" and he say "oh, there's an extremist. Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him."

Chavez indicated Bush discriminates against Morales because Morales was the country's first Indian president. The newly elected president of Bolivia, announced plans of socializing part of the energy resources, particularly gas in Bolivia in 2005 in a move to try to be more independent from multinational coorporations.

As the president of the Bolivian Senate, Santos Ramirez, put it: "Bolivia and Latin America are no longer the servile democracies that tolerate...poverty and the surrendering of sovereignty."

Chavez is pushing his own socio-economic agenda. For example the People's Trade Treaty consisting of Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba and Mercosur, an economic union designed after the European Union for which in turn Bush sharply criticized him.

Chavez defended Morales in his speech by saying "The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we are extremists. It's that the world is waking up."

Chavez referred to Bush's speech the day before, when Bush directly addressed the peoples of Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iran, telling the assembly "what would those peoples of the world tell him if they were given the floor? What would they have to say? - They would say, "Yankee imperialist, go home."".

To address the current political issues he mentioned, Chavez complained that "But we, the 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, 20 September, that we re-establish the United Nations."

In particular. he criticized the "the anti-democratic" veto held by the Permanent Five members of the Security Council, Citing the "immoral" veto of the United States which he said, "allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon.", referring to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict

Chavez said that he wants to provide an "alternative way of thinking" and canvassed for the support of the international community for Venezuela to attain a seat on the United Nations Security Council to "to save our planet, to save the planet from the imperialist threat." and "for our children and our grandchildren a world of peace based on the fundamental principles of a renewed United Nations."

U.S. Response

U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said the remarks don't warrant a response. The US is currently lobbying for Venezuela not to attain a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

Rep. Charles Rangel (Democrats) who represents a New York City neighborhood which Chavez recently visited said "I just want to make it abundantly clear to Hugo Chavez or any other president - don't come to the United States and think because we have problems with our president that any foreigner can come to our country and not think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our Chief of State. Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us."

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