Posted by: bklunk | October 1, 2006

What Type of Person Is He?

Venezuela’s Chavez says world faces choice between U.S. hegemony and survival

URL: Venezuela’s Chavez says world faces choice between U.S. hegemony and survival

Chavez’s speech at the United Nations meeting says a lot about Chavez and the type of person he is.  Here’s Chavez in his own words from the speech:      

“The Devil came here yesterday (laughter and applause). Yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place. This table from where I speak still smells like sulfur. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, in this same hall the President of the United States, who I call “The Devil,” came here talking as if he owned the world. It would take a psychiatrist to analyze the U.S. president’s speech from yesterday.”

He went on to say how U.S. controls the world and can jump over rules set fourth by United Nations.  He even said U.N. is not effective and it lacks decision making power.  He accused U.S.’s government of helping terrorists who attack Venezuela.

From the wording and the style of his speech, we can say much about Chavez’s personality.  This gives us an opportunity to discuss Venezuela at an individual level of analysis.  Which I will discuss in my next blog.

Okay, what can we say about Hugo Chavez’s personality?  At the individual level of analysis what does this tell us about Chavez’s impact on Venezuelan foreign policy?

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  1. I believe that considering the statement issued by Chavez, one may conclude a couple of things about his personality. First, I believe that he is insecure about the situation within his own country, and is therefore pointing the finger at the U.N and, in particular, the U.S. in order to keep the spotlight off of himself. Other presidents and state leaders are able to come together, discuss what they feel is necessary, and go away without name-calling, a very childish thing to do, needless to say. Second, I also believe that Chavez has a very proud personality. He holds himself on a pedistal, all the while saying that the U.S. does the same…it’s kind of like the the pot calling the kettle black, is it not? Clearly, Chavez has quite the power hold over his country and most of what goes on within it, at least that is what he wishes the international community to perceive. This could greatly affect the relationships between South and North America, rendering many current relationships weak in the future.

  2. Mr. Chavez here expresses his personal dislike of Mr. Bush, not of America itself. He has on many occasions said that the American people are “good people,” if only he could say the same about their government. He condmned Mr. Bush for the inadequate response to Katrina, and actually sent aid to the victims and also visited with them. He is a very good politician and very skilled at rallying the poor, which is what he has done in his country. The socialist programs he has installed in his country ‘help’ the poor, giving them the most basic of needs. Yet these very same socialist programs provide very little if any opportunity for advancement, giving the impoverished citizenry a ‘false hope’ of mobility. Mr. Chavez, the leader of a sovereign South American nation, however, has every right to be angry with Mr. Bush. After all, the American president did support a military coup on his seat in 2002, which led to economic unrest and capital flight. I was there during this time, and I watched the Bolivar, the Venezuelan currency, go from 700 Bvs. to the dollar to 1400 Bvs. to the dollar virtually overnight. And it only got worse. So his comments–childish? Yes. Understandable? Absolutely.
    If you’re interested in more about what Chavez is up to, I recently wrote an article about him–and his involvement with Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba among others. Here’s the link:

  3. I agree with the comment above, Chavez has every right to disagree with the Bush Administration. However, his comments made him look ignorant. He had a chance to intelligently challenge the Administration in front of the UN, but instead he looked like a radical. Chavez is a person with influence and should be taken seriously, but instead it seems he only gained respect from certain officials in Harlem and politically active celebrities.

  4. As a political leader of a country that wants to be main player of the UN, Hugo Chavez, in his speech, did nothing to help his cause. Rather he only enhanced his image of an extremist not willing to cooperate with anyone. Chavez offered no solutions to any issues or any words of encouragement, rather it seems that he was only capable of bashing not only the US, but the UN as well, an organization that he badly wants to be a part of. If he doesn’t agree with anything that is taking place within the UN why does he want to join so badly? It would seem that he and his other extremist friends should get together and form their own UN-like group, but wait all those extremists, who were applauding him, do not have the resources or the capabilities to do so. So instead of using his childish behavior, which got him nowhere put in the papers, Chavez should try a different approach, one in which will get him somewhere. It is time he looks at the issues and not his feelings of insecurities.

  5. Although I believe his ideas to be wrong, I believe him to be a very smart man. I cannot say for certain how much of his speech was made up and how much was factual, but in either case his speech got the kind of attention that he wanted it to recieve. A lot of attention good and bad. Some of the things he said might have even been based on truth, but then completely embellished and exagerated. I believe him to be smart though, because he picks out the things he wants to, the stuff that he knows will get the biggest reaction. The brilliance of it is, is that the US cannot fully respond in degrading him, because if they do not only are they going down to his level, but if they do it only makes him right. So as much as it pains me to say the US only has one true reaction and thats to give it as little attention as possible and just wait for it to blow over. I do believe though that he may have gone over board when he critizes the UN, I would not call it an overly smart move to insult the people you are trying to get rally behind you. But I will call it a bold move and one that puts the pressure on others and off of yourself, at least until they ask for proof of the claims that you have just made. In all I’d say he knows what he is doing and has reasons as to why he is doing it, I just dont think that he thought of all the possible outcomes that might occur. His foreign policy seems to be blame everyone else, but only do it when there seems to be an internal problem so that he can say look over here, look at this, dont worry bout whats over there just ignore that. Its really kind of smart I just have the problem that he over does. He almost makes it obvious that he’s hiding something by going out of his way to pick a fight with someone else.

  6. Overall, I found Hugo Chavez’s comments completely inappropriate and disrespectful. This shows that he is a very immature individual due to his demeaning comments. There is a difference between discussing your disagreements with what someone does and outright insulting them by using childish name calling. I definitely think that this was a way for him to stir up some controversy and gain some spotlight in the media. I disagree with the fact that he only dislikes President Bush and the government he runs; he also dislikes the American people. If he did, he wouldn’t be supporting some of the worst anti-American regimes, including Iran, Syria, and Belarus. Chavez is no real threat, he is merely playing his cards right. He needs to be revered by his own people using an anti-American attitude of promise. He uses oil as a playing factor in this game. I give him a couple years before he is overthrown by his own people.

  7. One interesting thing in all of this was the way several Democrats here in the U.S. who have been very critical of Bush were quick to come to his defense after these comments by Chavez. Both Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat who represents the Harlem district in Congress were quick to condem the things that Chavez said, basically telling him, our problems are our problems and you have no right to come in here and be critical. I agree with the notion that he is a very proud individual, and I would also describe him as stubborn. His crtiques of Bush and his oil gifts to Americans are very brash, and he is certainly an interesting carachter in the international game.

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