“We have been here for 500 years and we have never shut up, much less when a monarch says to do so.” — Chavez at press conference after Summit.
We know that over the weekend, King Juan Carlos of Spain told President Chavez to “shut up.” But, let’s get the whole who-hit-johnny and then I will share some great analysis of all this that I picked up from the Cuba News list.
The setting: The Iberoamerica Summit in Santiago, Chile. A sometimes bizarre gathering where Latin American heads of state meet with the heads of state of their former colonial rulers who sometimes behave like they represent colonial powers.
Who started it?: Well, Chavez, and thank goodness! Chavez reflected on the role that former Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar and his ambassador played before, during and after his coup d’etat in 2002 – essentially, collaborators with the opposition and the US in trying to make the coup stick. And, yes, he did call Aznar a “fascist” — come on, haven’t you seen Aznar’s moustache?
Who took offense?: Current Spanish prime minister, Zapatero. A deep-voiced “socialist” who looks great in a suit. He basically tells Chavez that while he does not agree with the policies of Aznar, Aznar was elected by the people of Spain and Chavez should show some respect for that. When no such respect came forth, Zapatero DEMANDED that Chavez show respect. Chavez asked (yes, by repeatedly interrupting Zapatero) why he should show respect.
Damn it, when does the King say “shut up?”: Right here. El Rey leans forward, flings a regal hand in Chavez’ direction and says, “Why don’t you shut up?”
Who ignores the King?: Chavez, of course. Chavez recited the words of Javier Gervasio Artigas, Uruguayan freedom fighter, and said, “The truth does not offend nor does it fear.” To make sure the Spaniards weren’t lost here, Chavez added that he reserves the right to say what he wishes, when he wishes, and wherever he wishes.
Does Chavez have any friends in all this?: Yes. Later, both Carlos Lage, Vice-President of Cuba and Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua piled on; it was Ortega’s comments that sent the king over the edge and made him walk out of the room.
So what is the media saying?: Chavez is a rude monster-devil and the king’s “shut up” remark is a show stopper.
Has anyone with a brain in their head analyzed this?: Yes. My favorite analysis is from Matt Dubuque who wrote in to Walter Lippmann’s CubaNews list with the following:
“And this is all a continuation of 500 years of the Spanish
Inquisition. Look at how close Franco was to the Catholic Church.
And the monarchy was part and parcel of incestuous relationship.
It’s all different facets of the same rotten coin.
As a person of color, Chavez has every right to speak out against
centuries of genocide and to refuse to bow to the white King Carlos
who purports to be his master speaking to him as if he were a child.
Nobody elected the Spanish King and the King pays no taxes.
Chavez has been overwhelmingly elected several times, so precisely
why is it that Chavez must obey the command of the white Spanish king?
Being coarse and impolite in the face of 500 years of racism, slavery
and genocide should be celebrated. It’s time to rock the boat!
As the first person of color (a pardo) to lead a nation in the
Southern Cone for 500 years as I understand it, Chavez doesn’t need
to take orders from irrelevant and imperious twits with zero moral
And why are the King’s spokesmen today (Monday) refusing to reveal
what role they played in the coup against Chavez?
How convenient it was that the Spanish ambassador, appointed by the
fascist Aznar, was there at the very first press conference shouldeer
to shoulder with the white self-proclaimed President Carmona in his
first press conference after seizing power illegally in the
Venezuelan coup as they announced an immediate cutoff of oil to Cuba.
Surely the Spanish ambassador would not have made this appearance
without the consent of his superiors in Madrid. What did the King
know and when did he know it?
The people of color in the South are refusing to take orders from
white Kings. Everything has changed. If it’s impolite to shout down
racism and fascism, then so be it.”
So what’s next?: The December 2 referendum on reforms to the Venezuelan constitution and the heavily US-funded opposition forces who are planning everything from sabotage of the referendum to overthrow. of the government. Stay tuned!