Monday, March 12, 2007

The George and Hugo Show

What a cat and mouse game this is! Georgie runs off to South America to win back some "brownie" points (pun intended), and Senor Hugo goes after him, throwing fiery spit balls from the sidelines. National leaders just don't come any more clever (or quotable) than Chavez.

Perhaps both are spewing vaccuous propaganda, but I'd have to give Chavez the nod for "closer to the truth of the matter." And braver? To be sure.

I hope that some readers will agree that many of us, South Americans and North Americans alike, who appreciate Chavez's role are patriots FOR America. We're just not for the status quo. That's different. Like Chavez, we want what's best for our country and the world, long term and fair in the Big Picture. It's just that we are willing to call a spade a spade, and Mr. Bush, you is the Jack of Spades (Cheney's the Ace).

Chavez reminds many of us of America's meddlesome, often lethally meddlesome, past (and present) in Central and South America and elsewhere in the world. That is not something to be swept under the rug with a round of hugs and a few air drops of building supplies and wheat. With all of his pumped up pokes in the eyes of the Empire, and his pointedly personal taunting of Boy Bush, Hugo gets the American goat, and because of his antics and passion, he does verge on the adolescent at times, but he is actually a champion for a better America, a more overt and less covert brand of politics in this hemisphere.

Chavez thrusts Chomsky in the face of the UN, borrowing from more intellectuals than Bush could name. Chavez holds office without the razor thin clutter of chads, and by popular demand, he has become the world's symbol of both underdog hubris AND democracy feeling its oats.

He offers cheap and even free fuel to poor and rich countries alike. He sends aid to New Orleans. Yep, Hugo is a player, big time, and he's popular to boot (adding even more thorns to Georgie's crown). And who's the president of Columbia? Of Brazil? Of Chile? Of India? No, we know of Hugo and so few others.

Nobody on the world stage plays a better game. Some might say that that's gamesmanship, not leadership, but let's remember that the leaders of rather backward third world countries, running scared and rather defenseless, no matter how seemingly rich or powerful from oil or other resources, just don't have all the options a supposed "super power" does. Hugo holds the stone that says the Empire's brand of "free trade" ain't fair.

The George and Hugo Show is, in some ways, a David and Goliath story.

And we know how that turned out.


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