[Marxism] Fidel's Heir: The influence of Hugo Chávez, by Jon Lee Anderson

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 20:57:31 MDT 2008

The influence of Hugo Chávez.

by Jon Lee Anderson


Bill Richardson said that, in April, he had travelled to Caracas to
speak to Chávez on behalf of the families of three American defense
contractors being held by the FARC. Chávez had been effusive and
friendly—Richardson is Mexican-American, and they spoke for an hour
and a half in Spanish. He told Richardson that he did not comprehend
the Bush Administration's hostility toward him: "He told me he didn't
like being demonized." When Richardson asked him if he would get in
touch with the FARC about the American contractors, Chávez said, "Sí,
te ayudo"—"Yes, I will help you." Richardson said, "We need to
establish some lines of communication with him, and this—coöperation
on the hostage negotiations—is a possible way to start. I think we
should keep a stable relationship with Venezuela; it's in our interest
to do so."


I asked Richardson if he had carried a message to Chávez on behalf of
Senator Obama, whose candidacy he endorsed after dropping out of the
Presidential race himself. Richardson said that he hadn't, but that
the thought had seemed to occur to Chávez, too. "He said that he had
noticed my endorsement. And he said, 'We could use better treatment
from the United States.' But I don't think he sees me as a
representative of Obama, but as a fellow Latin-American," Richardson
said. "His message to me was 'Take me seriously, and treat me better.'


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