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Chavez Pleases Leftists

9.16.2005

For those unwilling or uninterested in following the UN summit in New York, then you have probably missed an incredibly public and hostile critique of US foreign policy and attitudes to the UN by none other than Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
The outburst will undoubtedly please leftists and leave others wondering why eactly Pat Robertsons advice was not taken more seriously in dealing with the Venezuealn President. The remarks, made regarding the Iraq war and US railroading of the UN come at a point in time where the global south are more organised and willing to speak out than any other in recent memory.
His rant moved from the international to the environmental, he has this to say on the prevelance of underoccupied SUVs on the streets of New York;

"That's crazy, one person with a huge car ... that is using up gas and polluting the atmosphere," he said at a news conference. "The world cannot tolerate this model of development called the American way of life."

His uppity comments at the UN are coupled with his intent to help ditribute oil to members of the carribean and increase some form of economic indpendence, it reads like a holy grail for anti-globallising lefty people and perhaps thats his intention. Doubtless it will piss George off biggo, global war on people with big attitudes and contrary opinions anybody?

While we may dismiss his stance and grandstading for the benefit of dissenters and an attempt to strengthen the position of the awkward squad, his critiques have a lot to offer dialogue on the UN and shouldnt be dismissed out of hand. The likelihood of the UN moving to an international City is very small, the idea however has merit for the independence of the body and the image and mentality it can promote in the widerr world. The approach to decision making and indeed the fact that it is not able to reign in seeming abuses of power by member states are also issues needing to be addressed.
Its fair to say, we ignore Hugo's critique at our peril, in the same way we ignore the broader venezueland situation at our peril, recall his oil deals and desire to diversify power within the international system.
This is a man who look likely to make things difficult for oil consumers in the US and has already signalled large increases of exports of oil to China, he is clearly positioning himself between many poles, playing a real-politik game. The question is how long will the US tolerate the loss of oil security in its own back yard to increasing Chinese influence?
RR
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