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Please ...shut up!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-11-12 07:43:44
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In the end it took a …king to say exactly what I have wanted to say for long a long time now. Let me make this a bit clearer: an Iberia-American summit took place last week in Santiago, Chile, and the often-interrupting Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez somehow forced King Juan Carlos of Spain to say, "Why don’t you shut up?"

I have wanted to say these exact words for over two years now, ever since Mr. Chavez started overdoing it, having an opinion on anything small or big, being ready to share his opinion with all of us and demanding them to become headlines. I do agree, even if I’m not sure for his motives, that Mr. Chavez has done a lot of good. First for Venezuela by paying nearly all of the country’s loans and then to the whole of South America; to quote a friend, nowadays it is cheaper to buy a litre of oil in Brazil than a litre of water. Fine and I’m very happy for him, for Venezuela and for the long suffering South America.

But the man doesn’t want to just shut up. Ok, fine, God Bless Chavez and all that, but he must somehow stop bragging and thinking that from one day to the next he became the saviour of South America, the savoir of the whole world, the man with all the answers. Can't he understand that in this way he’s losing every right to talk and every sense to be accepted and understand?

Most likely he thinks of himself as the new Che, the big revolutionary that will free the poor countries from capitalism. Perhaps he is. The thing is that with his behaviour what you can see is another South American dictator and populist trying to buy the love of his people and most likely clearing his way at the same time from any opponent using personal armies and paramilitary groups.

The man has become friend, mentor, father and I don’t know what else, with the Peruvian president Morales, comrade with Castro whom despite what he has become is still a romantic revolutionary for many, even that’s fine in the cynical George W. Bush era; however, starting a brotherhood with the religious dictators of Iran and needing the bravos and applause of the North Korean dictator is just …too much. On top of all of that, there is morning television and chat shows where the president just talks and talks, which makes it easy to say, "Please, just shut your mouth!"

The reason for King Juan’s explosion was the comment Chavez made over the former Spanish prime minister calling him a fascist, before adding in the end that “fascists are not human. A snake is more human.” Mr. Zapatero, the present Spanish prime minister to the summit, answered that, "Former President Aznar was democratically-elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people." Chavez didn’t want to calm down, on the contrary, and repeatedly tried to interrupt, despite his microphone being turned off, so in the end the King leaned forward and said, "Why don't you shut up?"

Oh man, how I wanted to have said that and have said it two years ago, and again twice when Chavez visited UN, and again in the South American summit, and again and again… The man has lost the last few years of reason to his arguments because of only one reason: he didn’t know when to just shut up!

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Antonio2007-11-12 11:17:47
My god! I was laughing my ass yesterday when I saw the video. These politicians can be very funny sometimes. Maybe the king should be just a figurative character in international arenas, but one cannot deny his charming even when he orders to shut up a man that resembles more and more a clown. Just a couple of spelling corrections: Our king is Juan, not Huan (that sounds like a Chinese dinasty) and the present president´s surname is Zapatero (literally translated in English means Shoemaker... )

Greetings my friend from the "exile" in Estonia!


Asa2007-11-12 11:37:27
Corrections made and I shall slap Thanos on the wrist.

Hope to see you soon...

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-12 11:48:12
In that wonderful series "Civilization" episode 12 titled "the fallacies of hope" Sir Kenneth Clark makes an astute comment about the reign of terror of the French Revolution. He says that Marat's pogron was quite predictable; it always arrives sooner or later whereever and whenever certain men declare themselves men of virtue out to make everybody else virtuous.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-12 16:33:32
P.S. The point of the above being that once Chavez has declared himself dictator for life, dictating virtue to his own people, his verbosity (like Catro's for the last 40 years or so) will look like the least of the problems his people will have to deal with.

Hank W.2007-11-12 17:32:40
Well, he has the oil... I have been waiting though when he crosses the threshold and becomes a reject like Castro or Gaddafi. Oh, yeah, Castro has no oil.

Eero Nevalainen2007-11-12 20:39:13
"Power corrupts, absolute power.."

I share your frustration at Chavez... he was in a very strong position nudge South America into a more independent position where something could actually have done to improve conditions, but he's just playing into the hands of his opponents by this time.

It's sad. South America should really try to find some kind of middle ground, but I'm afraid the US won't let them, and their own leftists tend to be crazy...

Alexandra Pereira2007-11-14 01:33:29
The truth is Aznar was really a fascist right-wing catholic guy, and Zapatero knows that, but did of course his dignified role. The king didn't want to enrol in polemics about it either. And Chavéz thinks he's such a big shit just because he has oil, but there's no democracy in his own country, and the accusations of cheap-talker and fascist directed towards Aznar could well be applied to him... that's where left meets right.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-14 05:00:18
Indeed Ms. Pereira, point well made. Usually there is a flip side but those who are biased will make sure that it is not mentioned. Life however is full of ambiguities and paradoxes.

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