Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Aug 30/05 - On the limits of "revolutionary" largesse and "one-man rule"

PMBComment: is Hugo Chavez losing his calm? Or is it that populism is more fun when done on an international scale. Even the best charities are not judged by the speed at which they disburse but for their administrative skill. Even with oil at $70/barrel Hugo Chavez might have a hard time owing up to all the commitments - non-challantly made - to buy political support at home and abroad. One day, it will not be desperate women who rush to plea with him but angry nations that turn their backs on this tropical Sheik. PMB

Bodyguards Remove Woman Who Nears Chavez

By Associated Press

August 30, 2005, 8:55 PM EDT

CARACAS, Venezuela -- A woman who rushed up on a stage to hand President Hugo Chavez a note was pulled away by bodyguards on Tuesday, and the Venezuelan leader urged supporters to remember there have been threats against his life.

The incident occurred while Chavez was addressing thousands of supporters in a Caracas convention center.

"It's dangerous, because I'm threatened with death, so you have to understand that the security team surrounding me is on alert," Chavez told the crowd.

The incident came more than a week after the U.S. religious broadcaster Pat Robertson drew condemnation from Venezuela's government and others for suggesting that Chavez should be assassinated because he poses a threat to the United States.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America, later apologized.

Chavez said the young woman who jumped up on the stage had tried to give him a note asking for help and saying she was homeless, living in the streets with her children.

Chavez told his supporters afterward "the period should pass into history in which Hugo Chavez has to be mayor, governor and has to be in charge of everything."

Before the incident, Chavez urged the crowd to calm down as some were shouting personal requests during the ceremony, which was held to announce funds for community projects.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was in Venezuela this week to try and reduce tensions between the United States and Venezuela, toured a state-run farming cooperative and praised social programs established by Chavez.

"Those who worked on the plantation own the land now," Jackson told more than 100 workers.
Copyright 2005