Wednesday, January 14, 2004


The Special Summit of the Organization of American States, hosted by Mexico’s President Fox—on his knees before the power of Washington—in Monterrey was so entertaining—sometimes so infuriating—that Raven and I did not squeeze in a blog during the 2 days of the conference.

As my blood pressure edged toward the normal range last night, I fell asleep before the hour of the 10 o’clock news. Raven was out catting around (can birds cat around?), but the kids woke me up to watch an interview with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez—fun to watch him restraining himself from turning the sheep-eyed interviewer upside down and spinning him around. He ended with a few bars of “Mexico Lindo”….

Today’s La Jornada, Raven pointed out, has some very entertaining passages from Chavez’s contribution to yesterday’s sessions. Raven has been kind enough to translate them:

In the third and final work session Chavez said: “Latin America is at the gates of hell—it’s on the wrong track, and it’s necessary that the continent’s leaders assume their responsibility to revert this situation.

About the humanitarian fund which was proposed in the final declaration, he asked that it be financed by a part of the resources that Latin American pays for external debt and by money impounded from drug trafficking.

Finally, he expressed that his government was glad that corruption would be combated, and could not resist adding: “I have located various corrupt Venezuelans. I know where they live and that they have many millions of dollars that they took out of Venezuela. I can give you their addresses right now.”

In the press conference Chavez affirmed that a new leadership is forming in the continent: “No one should feel offended, but this new force, this whirlpool, in South America is stronger than the currents of the Amazon and the Orinoco.

In the dispute that emerged between the presidents of Chile and Bolivia (result of Chavez saying he was dreaming of going swimming at a Bolivian beach, then seconded by Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and others), Chavez took Bolivia’s part: “Lagos squashed Bolivia”—and added with uncontainable sarcasm: “and he’s a socialist!” He recognized that the Chilean leader received a lot of internal pressure, but decided to continue putting his finger in the wound: “When Bolivia obtains the corridor to the sea that they’re demanding, I will offer Bolivia the resources necessary to construct the highway.”

And he finished by saying: “When I heard Ricardo Lagos say that Chile owed nothing to Bolivia, I got so mad that I demanded coffee and candies!”

Thanks, Rave.

Monday, January 12, 2004


Raven and I are watching and listening to a clip from yesterday's "Alo President", as Hugo Chavez comments about the horrendous results of the application of neoliberalsim/savage capitalism in Latin America--and in passing, in his own words, Chavez shoots an arrow from the bow of the indigenous leader Guaicaipuro, returning the blast of artillery that Condoleezza Rice unloaded at him last week.

*The story of Guaicaipuro is a model of heroism. The Spanish conquistadores, led by Diego de Losada (founder of the city of Caracas), waited until night to sneak into Guaicaipuro's village in the mountains and set fire to the houses. After they launched a fire bomb onto the roof of his house, Guaicaipuro was forced to open the door and go out. He held a club in his hand, and faced with the superiority in weapons and numbers of the Spanish, shouted:

"Come here, cowardly spaniards! See how the the last free man in this land dies.!"

"Sounds like Che Guevara in La Higuera, Bolivia, when the guy who was assigned to shoot him entered the room, and Che told him to pull himself together, that he was going to kill a MAN," is Raven's opinion.

This morning Chavez landed in Monterrey, here in Mexico, to give a piece of his humanistic philosophy and his mind to the Bush Gang. Although he has commented that for him to speak his mind in the 3 minutes allotted in the Cumbre Extraordinario (convoked by Bush to threaten the governments of Latin America with his belligerent manequeism) is a ridiculous proposition.

"I expect they will give more than three minutes to Bush, though", Raven sneers, "although in his case he could empty his cerebrum in less than 15 seconds."

And then we could flush its contents.

Meanwhile, we two birds will be awaiting the declaration of sovereignty on the part of Chavez--who said that Venezuela would not tolerate any interference on the part of the US, or any other foreign power--to be the high point of the summit in Monterrey.