Hugo Chavez

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez is a man consumed by an obsession. That obsession is the United States. The United States wants to assassinate him; steal his oil; invade his country, etc. Hugo Chavez wakes up in the morning obsessing about the Empire, shorthand for the U.S. and beds down at night with the same thoughts. Most certainly he suffers nightmares about the horrors of the U.S. from dusk to dawn.

The U.S. Southern Command! The Fourth Fleet! The Colombian Defense Agreement! Even the sinister designs of the hospital ship, USNS Comfort. It is after all a U.S. Navy ship! One might have thought that something as immense as the human tragedy in Haiti would cause Chavez to hold his tongue a bit longer. Sadly, when one suffers from obsessions, the rational self is not always in control. Less than a week after the Haiti quake, Chavez took to his podium. “The Empire [the U.S.]” he proclaimed, “is taking Haiti over the bodies and tears of its people.” For a leader who previously called President George W. Bush “Satan” and routinely infers that President Obama is little more than a prisoner of the Pentagon, the CIA, and Wall Street, this still seems an unusually cruel blow.

Chavez adds, “They [the U.S.] brazenly occupied Haiti without consulting the UN or the OAS [Organization of American States].” Of course what would have happened if everyone rushing to help sat around waiting for the proper UN resolution? What if Russia or China vetoed the Security Council Resolution? And, has everyone forgotten what a splendid job the OAS did in Honduras with its political crisis this past summer?

This of course is the same Hugo Chavez who spent most of 2009 hobnobbing with the world terror elite, brandishing his new Russian arms, running his country’s economy into the ground, meddling in Honduras and Colombia, and teeing up a lifetime lock on the presidency. These are the words of a man who belongs on the list of the state sponsors of terrorism. On Haiti, let’s hope someone has the gumption to call out Mr. Chavez. Maybe President Obama might just voice a word of protest or two, or at least Secretary Clinton.

Why after years of trying to develop a multilateral, United Nations-based network to support Haiti, of encouraging and sustaining a strong United Nations peacekeeping mission there, and quietly taking a backseat approach in Haitian governance, does the U.S. suddenly wish to take charge of running Haiti? Why do we want to hand our overburdened armed forces another tough duty assignment? Why now with Haiti prostrate, with slim chance of gain or profit, and with nothing for resources other than the pride, dignity, and determination of the Haitian people to move forward in the wake of the unimaginable would the United States and its leaders undertake a military occupation of Haiti? Perhaps something is missing. Or maybe, just maybe, Hugo Chavez’s obsessions are truly beginning to get the better of him!