A small, but enthusiastic group from the Venezuela Solidarity Network protested at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, DC on Wednesday nite concerning King Juan Carlos’ remark to President Chavez that he “shut up” during a meeting of the Ibero-American Summit in Santiago, Chile last weekend. The protesters stated that not only was the King’s remark disrespectful of President Chavez, but it was racist and colonialist as well. Protesters demanded that the King apologize to Chavez.
During the Summit meeting, President Chavez complained that Spain’s previous Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, and his ambassador to Venezuela supported the coup of 2002 and that the visited the presidential palace, Miraflores, the day after the coup to congratulate the coup-makers’ “prez for a day,” Pedro Carmona. Chavez concluded his remarks by calling Aznar a “fascist.” Current Prime Minister Zapatero took exception to Chavez’ remarks and repeatedly asked Chavez to apologize, which Chavez refused to do. It was during this exchange that the King interrupted his own Prime Minister to to tell Chavez to “shut up.”
Spanish embassy staff greeted protesters with great curiosity, taking pictures and videotaping. Many passers-by gave “thumbs up” signs. A few were looking for an argument which is not surprising since the protest took place just a few blocks from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
With the referendum on reforms to the Venezuelan constitution coming up on December 2, we are likely to see a host of incidents designed to discredit President Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution. As with all things associated with the imperialist threat to Venezuela — stay tuned!