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Better days: Hugo Chavez embraces his 'father,'

Fidel Castro. It seems that Castro's recent verbal

overtures to President Barack Obama could mark

a break between the two commandantes.



Gazeta, Russia

Castro and Chavez Split Over Obama


"A black cat has scampered between the two comandantes. One factor in the cooling of relations between Chavez and Castro relates to Barack Obama. ... Castro has aimed a few serious and courteous statements in Barack Obama's direction. ... Hugo Chavez hypothesized that Barack Obama would turn out even worse than George Bush."


By Evgeniy Trifonov


Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


January 27, 2009


Russia - Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

The election of Barack Obama has created all kinds of geopolitical waves. This time from Russia, a country with unique historic ties to Cuba, there is news that the advent of Obama has created a rift between Latin America's leading leftists. This caricature of President Barack Obama is from Egypt's Al-Ahram


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Cubans look with hope toward Obama presidency, Jan. 21, 00:01:21 RealVideo

After half a century of opposition, Fidel Castro has proclaimed the beginning of an era of rapprochement with the United States. The banner of struggle against U.S. imperialism on the Latin American continent has been taken up by Hugo Chavez.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has always referred to Castro as his "father, brother, teacher and comrade," recently made an unusual announcement. According to Chavez, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, due to his recent illness, would no longer be able to participate in official public events. In doing so, Chavez allowed himself to do what would only be appropriate for Fidel, or in an extreme case, a member of his immediate family. It should be noted that it's been a while since Fidel himself issued any statement of public support for his "pupil" Chavez. Apparently, a black cat has scampered between the two comandantes. Most likely, one factor in the cooling of relations between Chavez and Castro (not the only one, but the principal one) relates to the new president of the United States, Barack Obama.


Even before taking office, Obama stated his willingness to meet with Raul Castro without precondition, and also promised to lift restrictions on travel to Cuba and remittances of money to the country. In the context of the financial crisis - a bitter blow to Cuba - the influx of American money is vitally important to poor nations.


Fidel Castro is well aware that Venezuelan aid is destined to be drastically reduced (according to official reports, Venezuela's international currency reserves have dropped by 30 percent and are melting away at an alarming rate). Havana also has little hope for cooperation with Russia: Moscow can no longer fully support Cuba as the USSR did during the 1960s-1980s, and wouldn't want to if it could. To rely on Chinese, Brazilian and European investment has become more difficult in this time of crisis.


Therefore, any actions by the United States aimed at weakening the blockade against Cuba will be true manna for the Island of Freedom [this was a Soviet nickname for Cuba].


Which is why Fidel Castro has aimed a few serious and courteous statements in Barack Obama's direction. The latest among them came in an article from his Reflections series, published on the conclusion of talks with Argentine President Christina Kirchner. "I don't harbor the slightest doubt over the honesty with which Obama, the 11th president since January 1, 1959 [the victory of the Cuban Revolution], expressed his ideas "


In truth, however, the Cuban leader expressed reservations that many questions regarding American policy remain unanswered, but significantly, among those he mentioned were only "a wasteful and materialistic system par excellence," which threatens the environment. But nothing, for the first time since 1959, of the "bloody crimes of imperialism" against "freedom-loving people," and other revolutionary clichés. There can be only one conclusion: Fidel Castro, after half a century of opposition, including armed confrontation, has declared the beginning of an era of rapprochement with the United States.




Appearing just a few days after Fidel Castro's article [Jan. 22], a statement issued by Venezuela's press service can be viewed not as a response to Barack Obama's political statements, but an answer to the article written by Hugo Chavez’ "father" and "teacher." After for some reason reminding the U.S. president that Venezuela is a sovereign nation and not a colony (by the way, Venezuela never was a U.S. colony), Hugo Chavez recalled that before taking office, Obama accused him of being, "an obstacle to development in Latin America," and declared that, “Venezuela is exporting terrorism." Here he also noted that when Barack Obama was asked about the "murder of children and innocent civilians in Palestine, he was irresponsible, and remained silent."


Chavez believes that Barack Obama has already begun meddling in Venezuela's domestic political problems, proven by, according to the Venezuelan leader, the financial support and "advice" being offered to his opposition.


It seems that Chavez has in mind a recent meeting of Venezuelan opposition leaders with U.S. officials. "The chief of the empire has become connected with the campaign being conducted by the Venezuelan opposition, and has invited its representatives to New York and Miami. Yesterday the first delegation arrived there, where they will obtain lots of money to wage a dirty war and unleash rioting in the streets."


Further, Hugo Chavez hypothesized that Barack Obama would turn out even worse than George Bush, and predicted that in future, he would have to "commiserate with the American people and the entire world, because this means the continuation of war, violence and political coups." The Venezuelan president stressed that he has no great hopes for Obama, who would most likely become the newest "fiasco" for his own people: "If Obama fails to obey the demands of the empire (its ruling elite), he will be killed like Kennedy was killed, like they slew Martin Luther King; like they slew Abraham Lincoln, who freed the blacks and paid for it with his life. Therefore, I don't expect anything good from Obama - just the same "stench" as his predecessor (I don't want to use another word)."


In regard to the mother of all enemies, "American Imperialism," Fidel Castro only worries that Barack Obama won't be able to cope with the "wastefulness" that threatens the environment. Meanwhile, comandante Chavez, like the Fidel of 20 years ago, remembers "imperialism" and all of its sins, including, naturally, the drinking of the blood of infants (this time, Muslim infants), as well as all of the other unspeakable atrocities against "freedom-loving people."


Fidel Castro is a dark figure in the history of Cuba. His monstrous ambition has turned one of the most developed and promising countries in Latin America into a desolate "banana prison." But he's an intellectual of the highest order and a strong leader. And there have been many times that Castro, with tenacity and perhaps in desperation, warned Chavez, even publicly, against the same mistakes that Castro and his supporters have committed in Cuba. 



For Hugo Chavez, in contrast to Fidel Castro, the United States cannot be tolerated. He needs an enemy - a terrifying and bloodthirsty one. The hated Columbia, which continues to beat down on Chavez' supporters, the FARC rebels, is not well suited to be enemy number one. This is too small a scale for the "continental leader." Chavez has bigger problems: he still can't defeat the opposition, he still isn't capable of restoring even minimal order in the country, and he needs someone to take the blame for these misfortunes. That is why he is attacking Barack Obama, although U.S. history has never seen such a "dove." And it is far more convenient to find and attack a virtual enemy, as in a computer game, from whom one cannot expect any real retaliation (Obama definitely won't attack Venezuela, and is unlikely to seriously support the opposition, either).




La Capital, Argentina: The 'Bushification' of President Obama

Latin American Herald Tribune, Venezuela: Hugo Chavez Delays Restoring U.S. Ties

Iran News Daily, Iran: Iranian Leaders Should 'Seize Chance' for Better Ties with U.S.

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran: Ahmadinejad Says U.S. Apology Would Represent Real 'Change'


The tension in Latin America is escalating. In Columbia, the civil war rages on; in Peru, the partisans of the "Shining Path" and the left in both Brazil and Ecuador are growing restless; in El Salvador, the ultra-left and ultra-right have nearly split Parliament in half. And the global financial crisis is badly intensifying the continent's difficulties.


It is in these circumstances that Fidel Castro, the former leader of the continent's guerrilla forces, is playing the role of peacemaker; and Hugo Chavez, who calls himself a social-democrat, with all his might is struggling to reignite the fire of a new revolution.














































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US February 3, 6:39pm]


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