The last few days we have seen the entire right go on about Obama shaking hands with Hugo Chavez and Chavez giving a book to our President. Even today wingnut talking points author Matt Drudge is still pushing the story:
And what has all this publicity done for the Venezuelan leader?
One of the biggest winners at the ongoing fifth Summit of the Americas turned out to be a decades-old book about Latin America's colonial past.
The "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano rocketed to bestseller status Saturday night on the online bookstore Amazon.com after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez approached U.S. President Barack Obama and handed him a copy of the book Saturday morning.
The publicity about the gift helped propel its English version from relative obscurity to No. 10 on the Amazon.com list of bestsellers on Saturday night.
Way to go Drudge – you have made Hugo Chavez relevant! The right wing agenda has now succeeded.
So the big talk from the right is this:
Russia could use bases for its strategic bombers on the doorstep of the United States in Cuba and Venezuela to underpin long-distance patrols in the region, a senior air force officer said Saturday.
"This is possible in Cuba," General Anatoly Zhikharev, chief of the Russian air force's strategic aviation staff, told the Interfax-AVN military news agency.
The comments were the latest signal that Moscow intends to project its military capability in far-flung corners of the globe despite a tight defence budget and hardware that experts consider in many respects outdated.
Of course the right is already calling it the “Biden-challenger” for Obama.
My how quickly they forget. I wonder how Bush passed this test? Just last November this was the news:
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev plans to travel this month to Cuba and Venezuela, which have increasing military and trade ties with Moscow.
The U.S. has objected to Russia's greater links with the two countries that have antagonistic relations with Washington.
Or how about going back to 2007, when Cuba and Venezuela were actively increasing their military arsenal, compliments of:
President Hugo Chávez is poised to buy at least five submarines from Russia in a £500m deal that will alarm the White House and confirms Venezuela as a growing military power in the region.
President Hugo Chavez said his foreign minister was detained by U.S. authorities at a New York airport Saturday for more than hour as he tried to return to the South American country.
Chavez told Venezuela's state TV broadcaster that U.S. officials alleged that Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro had links to a failed coup that Chavez led in Venezuela in 1992.
"They have held him accusing him of participating in terrorist acts here," Chavez said in Venezuela. "He didn't even participate in that patriotic rebellion."
Think I'm joking? Remember James Moore, the author of Bush's Brain. Funny how he writes Bush's Brain then ends up on the no-fly list.
If we are tritely facing "world war 3", then this should indicate the battle lines that are being drawn. All of this has occurred over the last week.
President Vladimir Putin is set to keep US oil companies out of a lucrative gas field in the latest sign of the deteriorating relationship between Moscow and Washington.
The Russian leader is expected to favour Norwegian companies and reject bids by America's Chevron and ConocoPhillips after failing to secure backing from the United States for his country's attempt to join the World Trade Organisation.
The tit-for-tat snub will be a blow to US companies scrambling for access to Russia's huge gas reserves at a time of high energy prices. It comes after Putin failed to resolve differences with US President George Bush over trade and human rights at the G8 conference in St Petersburg last week.
Russia said Thursday it had sold 24 aircraft and 53 helicopters to Venezuela, defying the United States, which has urged Moscow to halt arms sales to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Russia's arms export chief, speaking as Chavez met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, said the aircraft deal was part of a long-term package of arms contracts with Venezuela that was worth more than $3 billion.
Chavez is a vocal critic of what he calls U.S. imperialism. Washington considers him a dangerous radical and had urged Russia to rethink the weapons sale. It bans its own producers from selling weapons to Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged Iran to increase investment in his country's oil and gas assets. Visiting Tehran as part of a foreign tour, Mr Chavez also pledged Venezuela would "stand by Iran at any time and under any condition".
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described Mr Chavez as a "brother and trench mate".
Venezuela and Iran are close allies, both members of the Opec oil-producing cartel and fierce critics of the US.
The White House has come out and attacked Pat Robertson over his comments
yesterday on the stroke of Ariel Sharon:
The White House sharply criticized Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson on
Friday for suggesting that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was
divine punishment for "dividing God's land."
"Those comments are wholly inappropriate and offensive and really don't
have a place in this or any other debate," presidential spokesman Trent
Duffy said as Bush traveled to Chicago for a speech.
Robertson made his comments about Israel and Sharon on his TV program,
"The 700 Club." He said, "God considers this land to be his. You read the
Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel
who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this
I hear the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live in my head right now going
"Well isn't that specialllll". Considering all the other asinine comments
Robertson has made lately like the one of us assassinating Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez, perhaps Robertson is becoming a great threat to national security.
Now here is one wild thought. Since he is threatening our national security and
the President has all these powers now, like ignoring the fourth amendment to
spy on citizens without a warrant, then perhaps he should extend those "special
powers". I think a statement like this is in order:
Sunday, on CNN's Late Edition, they made the mistake of giving Pat Robertson
a larger audience again. This time he used his time in the spotlight to further
taunt Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
Robertson made two claims, which are being Venezuela's vice-President as
irrational. In the first claim, Robertson said that Chavez paid Osama Bin Laden
$1.2 million after the September 11th attacks. In his second claim, he is
accusing Chavez of trying to buy nuclear weapon components from Iran. When asked
where he learned about this information, Robertson said he has anonymous sources
he can not disclose.
Needless to say, the ramblings of "crazy" Pat are putting even further
strains upon United States and Venezuela relations. It now appears that
Robertson is trying to push us into war with Venezuela using some of the same
arguments we heard for the war in Iraq.
The administration needs to come out and denounce all ramblings of Robertson.
In a time where Bush is trying to discredit the allegation that he told middle
east leaders "god told him" to end the tyranny in Iraq, nothing would speak
stronger than a stern denouncement of Robertson's comments. Further more,
Robertson should be subpoenaed by the Senate intelligence committee and forced
to disclose his sources. He is toying with national security and bordering on an
act of treason. If any reporter was out making these allegations, they would be
expected to answer for it - so why isn't "crazy" Pat?
article for further details on Pat's ramblings.
Blame Bush if anything happens to me:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says President George W Bush would be to
blame if anything happened to him, after an American evangelist said the US
should assassinate the democratically-elected, leftist leader.
Mr Chavez, a former soldier who often accuses the United States of plotting
to kill him, was reacting to conservative evangelist Pat Robertson who said on
Monday that US officials should execute the Venezuelan president.
Mr Robertson later apologised, but his comments have illustrated the deep
political gulf that has opened up between the United States and one of its
biggest oil suppliers since Mr Chavez was elected in 1998.
"He was expressing the wishes of the US elite... If anything happens to me
then the man responsible will be George W Bush. He will be the assassin," Mr
Chavez said at a public event.
"This is pure terrorism."
Mr Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a leader of the
Christian right that has backed Mr Bush, said that if Mr Chavez "thinks we're
trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do
He retracted his comments on Wednesday, saying he spoke in frustration over
Mr Chavez's constant accusations that Washington was plotting against him.
The White House has kept quiet despite calls by Venezuela and religious
leaders for Mr Bush to repudiate Mr Robertson's remarks.
The US State Department said that Mr Robertson spoke as a "private citizen"
and called the remarks "inappropriate."
US evangelical seeks Chavez talks
A senior representative of America's evangelical Christians is to make
an attempt to set up a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Rev
Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, wants to
distance American Christians from the remarks of a tele-evangelist.
Pat Robertson earlier this week called for Mr Chavez to be assassinated.
The US State Department called his remarks "inappropriate" and Mr Robertson
later apologised for them.
Mr Haggard says he wants to meet Mr Chavez face to face and apologise for Mr
He also wants to secure assurances about the safety of American evangelical
missionaries working in Venezuela.
Mr Haggard is in Mexico, where he is meeting a friend of Mr Chavez.
If that encounter goes well, the leader of America's evangelical churches
will travel on to Caracas for a meeting which is bound to embarrass the White
Mr Chavez is locked in an acrimonious dispute with Mr Bush.
Washington regards the Venezuelan leader as a dangerous left-winger with
ambitions to dominate South America, says the BBC Justin Webb in Caracas.
Mr Chavez - a friend of Cuban leader Fidel Castro - equally dislikes Mr Bush,
and regularly suggests to his people that the Bush administration provides a
military threat to Venezuela.
The two nations have recently broken off co-operation on combating illegal
drugs, though America still buys Venezuelan oil.
The nation is the world's fifth-largest producer.
Good old Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez (see this
ap article). Pretty chilling coming from someone who is considered a
religious leader. True this same "leader" also was holding prayer vigils for the
vacancies of Supreme Court Justices, which would either mean deteriorating
health or death.
Venezuela's vice-President has called the statement by Robert's criminal.
This makes you realize that we truly have religious extremists right here in
our own nation. The problem is they are Christian leaders that run at the mouth
and our television stations give them a platform to spread their hate. Spreading
this kind of word should be cause for the immediate removal of his show from the
Via the BBC:
Chavez makes US oil export threat
Oil exports to the US could stop amid growing tensions between the two
countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said. He described recent US
government actions as "aggressive" in a speech at a youth festival in Caracas.
As a result, Venezuelan oil "instead of going to the United States, could
go elsewhere," he said.
Venezuela exports about 1.3 million barrels a day to the US and is the
world's fifth largest oil producer.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated since President Chavez
accused the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of spying on his
Washington denies the charge and has accused Caracas of failing to
co-operate in the fight against drug-trafficking.
On Friday the Venezuelan government withdrew diplomatic immunity from DEA
agents working in the country in response to a US decision to revoke the visas
of six Venezuelan officials based in Washington.
Venezuela is an important transport route for cocaine from neighbouring
Colombia, which produces 80% of the world's supply.
With our delicate oil situation right now plaguing the nation's wallet, you
can be certain this will lead to a definite hit on our economy. Perhaps Bush
will not rule out use of force against Venezuela.
While we are fighting a war in Iraq and a war on terror, we often forget
about the other war that has been going on longer than those two combined. That
is the war on drugs. This week it has taken a turn for the worse with a break
down in diplomatic relations involving one of the key countries.
From the BBC:
Chavez says US drug agents spying
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused the US Drug
Enforcement Administration of using its agents to spy on the South American
country. Mr Chavez said his country would sever its ties with the DEA and no
longer collaborate with the US.
Last month Venezuelan prosecutors opened an investigation into the
activities of DEA.
Mr Chavez said the country would continue to work with other international
"The DEA was using the fight against drug trafficking as a mask, to support
drug trafficking, to carry out intelligence in Venezuela against the
government," Mr Chavez said.
"Under those circumstances we have decided to make a clean break with those
accord," he added.
President Chavez also criticised the US policy on drugs for concentrating
on the supply rather than the demand of drugs.
Last week US Ambassador William Brownfield had said the US hoped to
continue collaborative anti-drug efforts in the country.
He warned that, without them, "there is only one group that wins, and that
group is the drug traffickers."
Do you think the United States will ever make significant progress in a war?