Monday, January 22, 2007

Let me start by saying ...

... fuck you too, Hugo Chavez. That's "Meester Greengos, SIR" to you, pal.

This latest boorish outburst is nothing new, however. While Chavez has a history of warm relations with fellow dictators like Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro, he's managed to put himself on nearly everyone else's shitlist - including countries that, previously, enjoyed warm relations with Venezuela.

We all understand that he hates George Bush. Well, fine. So does Arianna Huffington. Nothing new there.

Yet since taking power, Chavez's bizarre comments have caused diplomatic rows with a number of other nations to the point where diplomatic relations have been severely disrupted, and has even led to ambassadors being recalled.

In 2005, Chavez insulted, and then threatened, the Mexican President Vicente Fox, resulting in a recall of both nations' ambassadors.

In May of 2006, Chavez insulted Peruvian Presidential candidate Alan Garcia, calling him a "thief". Peru recalled their ambassador from Caracas, and Venezuela, likewise. brought their ambassador back from Lima. Garcia, predictably, had the last laugh, beating Chavez's proxy candidate Ollanta Humala by a wide margin in a victory credited to Peruvian anger over Venezuelan interference in the elections.

And then there's Chavez's bizarre obsession with Jews. Chavez's state controlled press notoriously issued a number of anti-semitic articles, including one that claimed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a blueprint for Jewish domination of the world, calling Jews "those who killed Christ". It was quickly withdrawn, but not to be outdone, Chavez then issued statements accusing Israel of starting "a new holocaust". The now familiar mutual withdrawal of ambassadors followed. Chavez torpedoed Venezuelan relations with Israel for good by publicly embracing deranged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad shortly after the latter announced his goal to "wipe Israel from the map".

So ... who does Chavez insult next? South Africa? Estonia? Nauru? Would anyone like to guess?

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