Chavez calls Bush “Devil”, proposes “Bank of the South”

A textbook case in how Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is viewed differently by the Imperium and the global south. First this, from the Voice of America, Sept. 20, on day two of the annual UN General Assembly debate:

Chavez brought his anti-U.S. campaign to the world body Wednesday. He called on like-minded world leaders to stand up to what he called “American imperialism,” which he said is a “threat to the survival of the human race”.

“The American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its hegemonistic system of domination, and we cannot allow them to do that,” said Hugo Chavez. “We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.”

The Venezuelan leader saved his strongest words for President Bush, describing him as “the devil”, and complaining that the rostrum where he stood, and where Mr. Bush spoke a day earlier “smells of sulfur.”

“Yesterday, the devil came here, right here, and it smells of sulfur still today,” he said. “Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here talking as if he owned the world.”

Now this, from the Press Trust of India, Sept. 17:

Havana: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has proposed the creation of a bank of south-American nations to use international reserves for financing the development of these countries.

“If we are going to have a ‘Bank of the South’, we cannot lose one single day to use our international reserves to finance our development,” he told the 14th Summit of 118-nation NAM here on Friday.

“Where are our reserves today?… in the countries of the North. This is about re-launching the potential of NAM and the basis of unity of this movement,” Chavez said.

Coming down heavily against international financial institutions, the Venezuelan President, well-known for his anti-US views, said “we don’t accept the kind of development the World Bank or International Monetary Fund wants to push on us to change our hopes, our souls and our pain.”

Cuban First Vice-President, Raul Castro, who is presiding over the NAM conference, said the Summit leadership and the delegations is likely to discuss the concept of ‘Bank of the South’.

However, Chavez said it was action and not debate that was needed to hasten the process of setting up such an institution.

“The reality is that we cannot expect solutions to our problems from the North, they are our own, and we must be capable of dealing with them practically.”

Chavez also proposed creating a new ‘Commission of the South’ by using the recommendations in a book – which he read when he was imprisoned in 1992 – published by the previous Commission of the South chaired by the former President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere.

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  1. okay im fairly ignorant
    okay im fairly ignorant about this maybe (well educated compared to the everyday joe though) and you’ve got to keep in mind the indian article is from the non-aligned countries conference which had a different agenda and atmosphere to it. chavez didn’t actively address bush but was rather trying to build solidarity amongst nations like india. though certainly you have a point that we americans and other countries like india in the “Imperium” see chavez(and to extend, castro) quite differently, this example is a bit unfair in itself.