Saturday, March 5, 2005

Hugo Chavez In The News

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has been the subject of several recent articles on Aljazeera.

As usual, it is difficult to tell how much to believe. But I can say this much about Aljazeera: I have never seen anything there which has been proven false. And some of the stories I have read there were virtually identical to stories which appeared a day or two later in mainstream papers. [That's right, folks. Mainstream papers are "scooped" by Aljazeera with considerable regularity.]

I haven't seen any of these stories on North American websites, so I take this opportunity to bring them to your attention. I'll quote the first few paragraphs of each piece; you can click on the links to read them in full. As I've been saying, I cannot vouch for their correctness but they come from a surprisingly reliable source. I urge you to read them all and think for yourself.

February 13: Chavez: US is a terrorist state
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has branded the United States a terrorist state while rejecting Washington's criticism of Caracas for its arms purchase from Russia.

Chavez, a fierce critic of US President George Bush and the US-led war in Iraq, on Saturday brushed aside US opposition to the agreement to buy 100,000 automatic rifles and about 40 military helicopters from Moscow.

"One has to ask whether there was transparency in the invasion of Iraq. The world knows President Bush lied openly about Iraq having chemical weapons," Chavez said.

"They keep on bombing cities, killing children, they have become a terrorist state," he said.

February 21: Chavez: US wants me assassinated
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has threatened to suspend oil exports to the US if someone tries to assassinate him.

"If they kill me, there will be a really guilty party on this planet whose name is the President of the United States George Bush," Chavez said on Sunday during his weekly radio programme Hello, Mr President.

"If, by the hand of the devil, those perverse plans succeed... forget about Venezuelan oil, Mr Bush," he said.

February 27: Venezuela: US preparing to attack
Venezuela has rejected recent US accusations against President Hugo Chavez as slander, designed to prepare the ground for an impending attack against the country.

Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez on Wednesday dismissed as "impertinent" charges Venezuela limits free speech.

He also ruled out accusations that Caracas associates with Colombian guerrillas and is a destabilising force in the region.

"The absurdity of these accusations against our government would not cause us the least anxiety if it were not for so many facts demonstrating that these signs appear because, sooner or later, there will be an attack," Rodriguez said.

March 4: Chavez renews threat to cut oil to US
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has renewed a threat to halt oil supplies to the United States if Washington hurts the Latin American country.

Relations between Washington and Venezuela - which exports the bulk of its oil to the US - have been badly strained since Chavez last month accused Washington of plotting to have him assassinated.

"If there is any aggression, there will be no oil," Chavez, who is in New Delhi on a four-day visit, was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying on Friday.

One last thing: I haven't posted a song in a while. One of the phrases I used earlier brought this one to mind. It's by George Harrison.

Think For Yourself

I've got a word or two
to say about the things that you do
You're telling all those lies
about the good things that we can have if we close our eyes
Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to
Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you

I left you far behind
The ruins of the life that you have in mind
And though you still can't see
I know you're mind's made up you're gonna cause more misery
Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to
Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you

Although you're mind's opaque
Try thinking more if just for your own sake
The future still looks good
And you've got time to rectify all the things that you should
Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to
Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you

Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to
Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you
Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you