Sep 2/05 - On a fraudulent offer to help: Chavez on Katrina
PMBComment: In times of tragedy it is fair to help your enemies, but what is not acceptable is to callously take political advantage of human tragedy. In a country in which the media, and obviously their audiences, love the odd or sensationalist story, Hugo Chavez's offer to help the
In December of 1999, after days of non-stop rains,
1. He was out of the country - unbeknownst to anyone...he was receiving "mental healing" in La Havana after one of his frequent breakdowns.
2. No evacuation orders were given despite the evidence that rock slides had been detected in the mountains and the fact that it had long been know that great swaths of shoreline were at risk of mudslides (it had already occurred on a smaller scale in the 50's)
3. He did not return to
4. The President returned to the country almost 48 hours after the crisis began.
5. At the request of the government and coordinated by the Venezuelan Army, the US rushed to send two navy vessels with hundreds of members of the Army's Corp of Engineers with military bridges, tents, and water treatment and desalinization plants. With one of the ships at sea and the other about to sail, Chavez was advised by Fidel Castro not to accept the US offer...two reasons were apparently given: the contingent would include a number of CIA spies and there was the risk of the US earning goodwill among Venezuelans. This incident created a major diplomatic incident and, according to a Clinton Administration official, cost the US taxpayer's $25 million. It would be interesting to hear Ambassador Maisto shedding some light to the
6. The political police - DISIP - was accused of having executed a number of people in their untimely and sloppy effort to control looting.
7. Tens of millions of dollars contributed by the international community disappeared...many
8. Six years after the tragedy the reconstruction of Vargas has gone nowhere. I invite anyone to tour Vargas and reach their own conclusion about the state of that state.
So, we have another case of Hugo Chavez being advised by Ricardo Alarcon (President of Cuba's National Assembly and the Castro's regime top "americanologist") and their accomplices among the
Venezuela's Chavez Offers Hurricane Aid
By IAN JAMES, Associated Press Writer
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is offering planeloads of soldiers and aid workers to help American victims of Hurricane Katrina, while at the same time taking aim at the U.S. government for its handling of the crisis.
Some critics on Thursday said Chavez, a leading voice for the Latin American left, seemed to be using the disaster to try to make the Bush administration look bad.
While confusion reigned in
"As more information comes out now, a terrible truth is becoming evident: That government doesn't have evacuation plans," Chavez said Wednesday night during a speech.
He called Bush "the king of vacations" and noted he had been at his
A controversy erupted in another disaster situation in 1999 when Chavez turned down an offer for
But Venezuelan commentator Ibsen Martinez, a frequent government critic, said the aid offer by Chavez seems to serve other intentions as well.
"He's trying to win a political game,"
Just as Chavez has been offering preferential oil deals to allies across the
"I think he's speaking for the gallery. He's bragging,"
Chavez's criticisms of the
His government, meanwhile, has demanded
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.