A Whiff of Sulfur…


Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez may be an authoritarian-populist demagogue (Winnie rather than Nelson Mandela) who embarrasses more serious Latin American leftists, but he clearly has had the foresight to hire a comedy writer. That much was apparent in his UN General Assembly address, Wednesday, when he repeatedly referred to President Bush as “the Devil,” comically crossing himself after reminding delegates that “El Diablo” had been in this very room, at that same podium, just the night before. And then came the killer punchline: “It still smells of sulfur in here…”

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11 Responses to A Whiff of Sulfur…

  1. Mark says:

    I’m more than a little disturbed at how many news organization treated this as a serious insult.

  2. Bernard Chazelle says:

    I guess comedy is contagious. Charles Rangel has a good sense of humor but his comedy writer is not quite in the same league as Chavez’.

    Rangel is the guy who called Iraq’s invasion worse than the Holocaust, which would make Bush worse than… OK you get the point.

    Now Rangel says to Chavez: “don’t come to my house to insult my mother.” That’s not the way he put it but that’s the only logical thing he meant to say.

    Why? Because he said to Chavez he can’t insult person X but he, Rangel, can. There’s only one person you may insult but no one else can: that’s your mom.

    Therefore, Rangel is telling us Bush is his mom.
    That’s the problem. It’s funny but not terribly funny. I hear SNL is laying off personnel. Rangel could hire a few of them. He needs help.

  3. Colin Brace says:

    I read your commentary on the Middle East and South Africa with great interest, but I guess I will have to look elsewhere for intelligent commentary on Venezuela. Chávez’s economic policies don’t embarass a by no means a radical leftist economist like Joseph Stieglitz. As for “more serious” Latin American leftists, I take it you mean such sell-outs like Lula. Well, I’ll take Chávez any day, over-the-top rhetoric notwithstanding.

  4. Pat says:

    Lula is a sellout? I think he’s more of a principled realist than anything else.

  5. Steve says:

    The two democrats who chastised Chavez for insulting Bush should feel like idiots as the Republicans accused the Democratic party of inventing the KKK within hours of their defence of Bush.

  6. Doug Kellam says:

    You got the populist demagogue part right. I was a much bigger fan of Chavez before I found out that he’s planning to introduce a referendum doing away with term limits on Venezuelan Presidents. I can almost see his apologists start to squirm.

  7. Xntrk says:

    This is for Doug Kellam.

    Why would doing away with term limits be a cause to squirm? Term limits are not universally acclaimed in the U.S, and have been blamed for forcing governmental instability in some countries.

    In a functioning democracy [and there are many doubts about ours] term limits are provided by routinely scheduled elections. In a fair election with broad voter participation and equal access to the media, an educated population usually makes a rational choice.

    Could this be one reason Chavez has been working so hard to increase literacy?

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