Sep 17/05 - On Chávez the boredom slayer: a news report of a tyrant’s apprentice's UN performance
PMBComment: today’s Washington Post carries an extensive story on Hugo Chávez whimsical performance in the UN. President Clinton’s Alternate UN Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, sums it up well when she attributes the applause Chavez received to the "sheer entertainment factor" of his undiplomatic speech. "Those speeches get so boring." she states.
But more importantly the story touches on a couple of fundamental issues. One is the fact that Kofi Annan called Chavez to order, and the “tough guy” was forced to backtrack on his threat to boycott the consensus approval of the General Assembly’s document when it was demonstrated to him that his diplomats had ample time to review and comment on the proposed agreement.
The second is more mundane but just as telling. For two days Hugo Chavez screamed that the
According to Ric Grenell, the spokesman for the
So there you have it, the problem is we are dealing – as always - with a deceitful, paranoid, wasteful and disorganized administration.
No matter how much applause was drawn from a small, and purportedly bored, audience of sycophantic and self-victimized nations, the fact remains that he is – first and foremost - the head of a profoundly failed state that is being dismantled brick by brick, barrel by barrel, life by life by an “entertaining” autocrat – himself - that sees enemies in every corner, travels with 88 bodyguards to a highly protected summit of 174 leaders, spends the nations resources without checks or balances, and is hell bent on following the lead – and worn antics - of a decrepit Caribbean dictator who continues to tyrannize a small infirm country that 85% of Venezuelans (according to the latest polls) reject as a model for anything. PMB
The Washington Post
Chavez Stirs Things Up at the U.N.
Venezuelan Leader Wins Cheers With Rant Against
By Colum Lynch
Saturday, September 17, 2005; A14
Chavez's appearance on the world stage this week echoed his mentor Fidel Castro's historic 1960 debut address before the General Assembly, complete with a fiery condemnation of American imperialism and side trips scheduled for Saturday to a Harlem church and community groups in the Bronx.
Chavez generated the loudest burst of applause for a world leader at the summit with his unbridled attack on what he characterized as American militarism and capitalism. He even offered a proposal to move the United Nations to
Last night, Chavez threatened to disrupt plans by the 191-member General Assembly to formally endorse -- by consensus and without a recorded vote -- a 35-page agreement calling on governments to combat poverty and terrorism and promote human rights and democracy. The pact had been agreed upon in principle by 189 nations on Tuesday, with
But after meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Chavez dropped his threat to force a vote on the declaration, a maneuver that would have allowed governments to abstain or oppose the agreement, undermining its political force.
In his Thursday address, Chavez railed against the Bush administration for failing to protect poor residents of
"The only place where a person can ask for another head of state to be assassinated is the
Chavez, passing the five-minute limit for speakers, grew irritated when a U.N. official slipped him a note requesting that he wrap it up. Turning toward the president of the General Assembly, Jan Eliasson of
U.N. experts and foreign envoys said Chavez, like Castro, was able to capitalize on a reservoir of resentment of American power in the world body. "Obviously people are pleased with what he said, but they cannot express themselves as frankly as he does," said one Arab ambassador, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend the
Chavez's popularity also reflected the penchant of some U.N. members for rallying around political figures who face attack by conservative
The applause for Chavez was recognition of the "sheer entertainment factor" of his undiplomatic speech, said Nancy Soderberg, a former senior
But Chavez would never be able to translate the popular reaction to his rant into political support for his positions because, while the moment "might be emotionally satisfying," the delegates "know this is not the real world," said Jeffrey Laurenti, a seasoned U.N. analyst at the Century Foundation.
Some U.N. diplomats complained that the Bush administration had exacerbated the problem by acting as a poor host, delaying a visa request for the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and preventing the president of
Ric Grenell, the spokesman for the
Staff writer Michelle Garcia in
© 2005 The Washington Post Company