no one in the United States knows that we've donated millions
of dollars to the governorship of Louisiana, to the New Orleans
Red Cross. We're now giving care to more than 5,000 victims, and
now we're going to supply gasoline, freely in some cases, and
with discounts in other cases, to the poorest of communities,
starting with New Orleans and its surroundings... We've been helping.
And we've been even rescuing people."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; "Nightline" with Ted Koppel,
Sept 16, 2005
performance at the UN was greeted with the bucket-loads of bile
that one expects from America's rightward-tilting media. Washington
Post hatchet-man Colum Lynch provided a typical summary of the
speech by dismissing it as "a rant" from the Venezuelan "bad-boy".
But, Lynch isn't alone in his hostility; the outpouring of venom
came from all corners; appearing in many newspapers across the
nation, invoking the hackneyed expressions of contempt for any
foreign leader who rebuffs Washington or who follows redistributive
the speech was a brilliant and impassioned analysis of the current
state of the world and of the United Nations. Chavez noted that
the original intention of the gathering had been "completely distorted"
by the so-called reform process introduced by John Bolton. The
reforms are entirely designed to transform the UN into a cats-paw
for American power creating greater flexibility for Washington's
preemptive wars and for dismantling the foundations of international
law. They signal the demise of the UN as a legitimate forum for
world development and an invitation for Bush and co. to act with
even greater impunity.
administration's maneuvering has successfully sabotaged the efforts
made by the international community for real improvement. The
goals of the Millennium Summit, to reduce hunger, poverty and
ignorance, will not be achieved and the mission of the UN has
been effectively torpedoed by Bolton's machinations. Chavez's
speech draws this same obvious conclusion: "Friends of the world,
The United Nations has exhausted its model, and it is not all
about reform. The 21st century claims deep changes
that will only be possible if a new organization is founded. This
UN does not work. We have to say it. It is the truth."
remarks are not intended to disgrace the UN, but to offer a different
vision for the future. He recognizes the pressing requirements
of the new century and realizes that many of these problems "do
not have a national solution: radioactive clouds, world oil prices,
diseases, warming of the planet or the hole in the ozone layer.
These are not domestic problems."
his own set of reforms for the UN, including expansion of the
Security Council, greater transparency, increasing the powers
of the Secretary General, and "suppressing" the power of one nation
to veto resolutions made by the council. But, he does not believe
that reforms are enough by themselves and insists that the UN
be transformed completely, beginning with a change of venue from
New York to an "international city with its own sovereignty".
Chavez's logic is inescapable; if the United States continues
to flaunt UN resolutions and violate international law, as it
has with the Iraq war, it should not be host to the world body.
Chavez's suggestion was not made to humiliate the United States,
but to demonstrate the urgency of the calamity the world faces
if action is not taken swiftly on matters of mutual concern. Chavez
takes a keen interest in these issues even though Washington chooses
to ignore them.
gentlemen, we are facing an unprecedented energy crisis in which
an unstoppable increase of energy is perilously reaching record
highs, as well as the incapacity of increase oil supply and the
perspective of a decline in the proven reserves of fuel worldwide.
Oil is starting to become exhausted.
the year 2020 the daily demand for oil will be 120 million barrels.
Such demand, even without counting future increments- would consume
in 20 years what humanity has used up to now. This means that
more carbon dioxide will inevitably be increased, thus warming
our planet even more."
draws a straight line between global warming to the devastation
of Hurricane Katrina; the first major city lost from rising ocean
temperatures. He deftly connects the tragedy to the neo-liberal
economic model which continues to thrust the world in a catastrophic
"It is unpractical
and unethical to sacrifice the human race by appealing in an insane
manner the validity of a socioeconomic model that has a galloping
destructive capacity. It would be suicidal to spread it and impose
it as an infallible remedy for the evils which are caused precisely
defended his record as a reformer and a man willing to take risks
for the sake of his own people. In one particularly stinging remark,
he noted the progress that had been made in Venezuela since 9-11,
while the Bush administration was busy using the pretext of terrorism
to violate international law and initiate hostilities against
four hundred and six thousand Venezuelans learned to read and
write. We are 25 million total. And the country will, in a few
days, be declared an illiteracy-free territory. And three million
Venezuelans, who had always been excluded because of poverty,
are now part of primary, secondary and higher studies.
million Venezuelans, almost 70% of the population, are receiving,
and for the first time, universal healthcare, including the medicine,
and in a few years, all Venezuelans will have free access to an
excellent healthcare service. More that a million seven hundred
tons of food are channeled to over 12 million people at subsidized
prices, almost half the population. One million gets them completely
free, as they are in a transition period. More than 700 thousand
new jobs have been created, thus reducing unemployment by 9 points.
All of this amid internal and external aggressions, including
a coup d'etat and an oil industry shutdown organized by Washington."
Chavez's record is backed up by a solid performance in nearly
every area of social development. Its no wonder the elitist
American media, driven by their class-based ideology, has tried
so desperately to discredit him.
oratory to the General Assembly will undoubtedly elevate him in
the eyes of many as a serious futurist who offers genuine solutions
for a war-ravaged planet. His personal fortitude and optimism
are matched by his selfless conduct as President; working persistently
on behalf of his people and strengthening global relations. His
iconic image around the world is well deserved.
fight for Venezuela, for Latin American integration and the world.
We reaffirm our infinite faith in humankind. We are thirsty for
peace and justice in order to survive as a species... Now is the
time to not allow our hands to be idle or our souls to rest until
we save humanity."
was received with thunderous applause.
Operation Balboa; the plan to invade Venezuela; President Chavez
announced on "Nightline" Friday edition 9-16-05 that, "I have
evidence that there are plans to invade Venezuela. Furthermore,
we have documentation: how many bombers will over-fly Venezuela
on the day of the invasion, how many trans-Atlantic carriers,
how many aircraft carriers need to be sent to (inaudible) even
during (inaudible)." The US is carrying out maneuvers at Curacao
Island, and Chavez claims to have documentation to back up his
allegations. "The plan is called Balboa and Venezuela is indicated
as its objective."