Posted on July 25, 2007

I was thinking what a struggle it is for Hugo Chavez to have to continuously be the target of US destabilization schemes. I am reminded of the child’s game where you use a wooden mallet to hit a protruding wooden stake so that it disappears only to have another wooden stake pop up in a different part of the grid. The Government of Venezuela must spend alot of time whacking at those US-funded stakes. If it’s not opposition members in the National Assembly, it’s the students from Zulia, a state that continues to threaten to secede from Venezuela. If it’s not newly-formed “democracy” groups, its Condi Rice breathing fire through clenched teeth complaining about Chavez “behavior problems.” But today it’s the Catholic church — a cardinal in Honduras. You can read the article below for details but basically, the cardinal said Chavez was acting like he “was God” and Chavez called the cardinal is an “imperialist clown.” It must be tough being the leader of a Latin American country and getting into name calling with a Catholic priest. Yet, most people in Latin America know of the complicity of the Catholic Church in the Spanish conquest.

As an antidote to the Honduran priest’s comments, I offer you the perspective of an ex-priest who, when he was a priest, lived in a barrio in Caracas.  Charles Hardy lived there from 1984 until 1992 in a cardboard hovel and had a front row seat to crushing poverty and the initial rise of Hugo Chavez. He has written a book about his experiences, “Cowboy in Caracas: A North American’s Memoir of Venezuela’s Revolution” – the cowboy part comes from being raised in Wyoming. I met him at a book signing held at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. The book helps the reader understand that, for the poor of Venezuela, Chavez was right on time and just in time to prevent an elite class destruction of the hopes’ of Venezuela’s poor. The book is a quick read, funny, bitter-sweet and more convincing than any political analysis you will find. It’s a great book to give to family and friends “who just don’t get it.” Read this book!

Responding to a warning from Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga that “he
thinks he’s a God”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has described the
Honduran prelate as an “imperialist clown”.

“Another parrot of imperialism appeared, this time dressed as a cardinal.
That’s to say, another imperialist clown,” Chavez was quoted as saying in a
bulletin posted on Tuesday on the state-run news agency’s website, The
Guardian reports.

Chavez – a close ally of Cuba’s Fidel Castro – was responding to criticism
from Honduran Cardinal Rodriguez, who said in a recent interview cited by
Venezuela’s Bolivarian News Agency that Chavez “thinks he’s God”.

Chavez made the comments during a government event late on Monday. He has
repeatedly clashed with Catholic Church leaders in Venezuela, calling them
“liars” and “perverts”, but he rarely targets high-ranking priests abroad.

El Universal reports that Cardinal Rodriguez had said that President Chavez
“feels like a god” and Venezuela is set for great pain if the country
continues under a totalitarian regime.

“He feels like a god and thinks he has the right to abuse other people with
an arrogance that has been seen in other dictators over history and who are
remembered as tyrants,” the cardinal was quoted as saying in the Venezuelan
daily El Diario de Hoy.

“Chavez is blind, deaf,” Rodriguez added in the interview offered following
a conference in the Salvadoran capital town.

According to Rodriguez, the Venezuelan ruler should be “humble” and willing
to dialogue “because every person should admit they are children of God and
do not own the truth 100 per cent.”

Posted in: US, Venezuela