Viaje al otro mundo

Meester Danger vs Mrs. Hope

Watching Chavez speak for 2.5 hours is interesting, though it would have been more interesting if I understood more than 40% of it (translation was available but I skipped it). I can’t count the number of times he mentioned he was opposed to imperialism and neo-liberalism with my available digits… I almost thought he was a Democrat the way he was defining himself by what he’s against… though ¨anti-imperialismo¨ kinda stands out in a sea of dense Spanish. The reality is that Chavez does articulate what he stands for, and he is actually helping to develop alternative politics and alternative policies. The Chavez government has been pushing and developing an economic alternative to the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA, or ALCA in Spanish). His alternative plan, ALBA, stands for Alternativa Bolivariana para la Amèrica. Though still in its early stages, it is clear that Chavez is forging alliances with other countries of Latin America as a way of developing economies without the structural adjustment agreements of the IMF/World Bank and WTO (privatize everything!).

What I will never tire of is Chavez’ nickname for George Dubya — Meester Danger — based on an American character in a classic Venezuelan story by Ròmulo Gallegos. I think he unveiled the nickname at the massive protests in Mar del Plata at the Summit of the Americas, where meetings on the FTAA ended in a deadlock. And with Cindy Sheehan on stage with him, Chavez started getting giddy about her role as a powerless mother of a slain soldier confronting Bush head-on at his Texas ranch and becoming a huge thorn in his side. And he asked, “¿Como se dice esperanza en ìngles? Hope? You are Mrs. Hope!”

And while I have more to say on the World Social Forum and my time in Caracas, I think the thorn in Mr. Danger’s side just grew a little bigger when Capitol Police decided to arrest Mrs. Hope for, well, pointing out just how many US soldiers have died in Iraq. Will they ever fucking learn? Don’t mess with Señora Esperanza!

More on the Forum later.

From San Jose, Costa Rica, hasta luego.


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  1. * Jenny says:

    speaking of meester danger, my friend jane says “There’s a strange juxtaposition of the State of the Union address and Groundhog Day. One of these events involves a ritual where an animal of limited intelligence attempts to predict the future and the other event involves a groundhog.”
    ha ha.
    miss you eli!

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago

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