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Posted August 22, 2005 by I-taoist in Castro's Cuba

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In his fourth visit to Cuba in nine months, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez held his six-hour call-in show in Cuba alongside Fidel Castro and blasted ‘‘U.S. imperialism’’ as the greatest global threat.

BY VANESSA ARRINGTON | Associated Press - Miami Herald

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized the United States for recent remarks about his role in Latin America, saying in a Sunday broadcast from Cuba that it is the policies of the U.S. government that are harming the world, not his own.

Chavez spoke alongside Cuban President Fidel Castro during his regular Sunday television and radio show, Alo Presidente, from the western tip of the island, flaunting the close ties between the two leftist leaders that U.S. leaders say are threatening democracy in the region.

‘‘The grand destroyer of the world, and the greatest threat . . . is represented by U.S. imperialism,’’ Chavez said.

Chavez was responding to remarks Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made on his way home from visits to Paraguay and Peru last week. Referring to social uprisings in Bolivia that have pushed out two presidents in less than two years, Rumsfeld told reporters that Venezuela and Cuba have been influencing the Andean nation “in unhelpful ways.’‘

Uneasy about the close relationship between Castro and Chavez , Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials have repeatedly said the two men are fomenting instability in Latin America. Both leaders have consistently denied the accusations.


Chavez gave a new vote of confidence to Castro’s communist government Sunday, calling it a ‘‘revolutionary democracy’’ in which the Cuban people rule.

People ‘‘have asked me how I can support Fidel if he’s a dictator,’’ Chavez said. “But Cuba doesn’t have a dictatorship—it’s a revolutionary democracy.’‘

Television footage showed Chavez and Castro together in the streets of Pinar del R�o earlier in the day, standing on the back of a jeep wearing olive green military uniforms and saluting hundreds of shouting residents waving Cuban and Venezuelan flags.

During the nearly six-hour show, Castro and Chavez talked mainly about their joint social ventures, particularly in the health sector. Cuba has sent a fifth of its doctors to work in Venezuela in gratitude for Venezuelan oil under preferential terms.


The leaders praised each other throughout the show and took phone calls and messages from supporters in both countries. They also received praise from the audience, which included Castro’s Cabinet members, the ex-Salvadoran guerrilla leader Shafick Handal and former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

‘‘It is a great privilege for all of us to see you here together,’’ said Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, dressed like the other officials in a bright red shirt. “We feel like we are living a special moment, and that, in Latin America, Cuba is not alone.’‘

The visit marked Chavez’s fourth to Cuba in the last nine months. He arrived Saturday to attend the first graduation of the Latin American School of Medicine, a regional initiative launched in 1998 after two hurricanes devastated Caribbean and Central American nations. Chavez announced he would create a second such school in Venezuela.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on August 22, 2005 by I-taoist with 213 total posts

    “Cuba doesn’t have a dictator—its a revolutionary democracy.”  And if pigs had wings they could fly. 

    Napolean lived in the same world of self-delusion. In his warped megalomania he saw himself embodying the French revolution, even as he took away every last vestige of liberty and freedom within France.  As he placed the imperial crown upon his own head, declaring himself the new “emperor” of France, I’m sure his own self-talk justified every action in the most eloquent terms. Thus the axiom, “complete power corrupts completely,” proves itself once again in this old world. 

    As the lights and electricity stay out in Cuba, and the water in many faucets fails to run, and the meager and precious rations spoil in defunct refrigerators, the ruling class of swine pat themselves on the back and engage in self congratulation, as their personal generators thump out a beat in the background and the crystal clear bottled water is delivered to the back door. 

  2. Follow up post #2 added on August 22, 2005 by yumaguy with 176 total posts

    Wowee. Looks like Chavez is really trying to position himself as a major player in a post-Castro Cuba. And with his overpriced oil, he’ more than a match for the South Florida contigent. This is starting to get really interesting. . .  wink

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