[News] Chavez at the UN - text plus video

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 21 08:49:43 EDT 2006


http://www.counterpunch.org/

or watch it here (scroll to Venezuela) - 
http://www.un.org/webcast/ga/61/gastatement20.shtml

September 20, 2006


Address to the United Nations


Rise Up Against the Empire

By HUGO CHAVEZ

Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all 
of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, 
to those who have not read this book, to read it.

Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world 
intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent 
books, 
'<http://www.amazon.com/Hegemony-Survival-Americas-Dominance-American/dp/0805076883/counterpunchmaga>Hegemony 
or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'" [Holds 
up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.] "It's an excellent 
book to help us understand what has been happening in the world 
throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the 
greatest threat looming over our planet.

The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk 
the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about 
this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the 
world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our 
heads. I had considered reading from this book, but, for the sake of 
time," [flips through the pages, which are numerous] "I will just 
leave it as a recommendation.

It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure Madame [President] 
you are familiar with it. It appears in English, in Russian, in 
Arabic, in German. I think that the first people who should read this 
book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their 
threat is right in their own house.

The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in 
the house.

"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. 
Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today.

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of 
the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came 
here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.

I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement 
made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of 
imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the 
current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the 
peoples of the world.

An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even 
propose a title: "The Devil's Recipe."

As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American empire is 
doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we 
cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to 
be consolidated.

The world parent's statement -- cynical, hypocritical, full of this 
imperial hypocrisy from the need they have to control everything.

They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their 
democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would 
say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs 
and firing weapons.

What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize it or others 
who are at the root of democracy.

What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?

The president of the United States, yesterday, said to us, right 
here, in this room, and I'm quoting, "Anywhere you look, you hear 
extremists telling you can escape from poverty and recover your 
dignity through violence, terror and martyrdom."

Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother -- he 
looks at your color, and he says, oh, there's an extremist. Evo 
Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him.

The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we are 
extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking up all 
over. And people are standing up.

I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live 
the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are 
standing up, all those who are rising up against American 
imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the 
sovereignty of nations.

Yes, you can call us extremists, but we are rising up against the 
empire, against the model of domination.

The president then -- and this he said himself, he said: "I have come 
to speak directly to the populations in the Middle East, to tell them 
that my country wants peace."

That's true. If we walk in the streets of the Bronx, if we walk 
around New York, Washington, San Diego, in any city, San Antonio, San 
Francisco, and we ask individuals, the citizens of the United States, 
what does this country want? Does it want peace? They'll say yes.

But the government doesn't want peace. The government of the United 
States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its system of 
exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war.

It wants peace. But what's happening in Iraq? What happened in 
Lebanon? In Palestine? What's happening? What's happened over the 
last 100 years in Latin America and in the world? And now threatening 
Venezuela -- new threats against Venezuela, against Iran?

He spoke to the people of Lebanon. Many of you, he said, have seen 
how your homes and communities were caught in the crossfire. How 
cynical can you get? What a capacity to lie shamefacedly. The bombs 
in Beirut with millimetric precision?

This is crossfire? He's thinking of a western, when people would 
shoot from the hip and somebody would be caught in the crossfire.

This is imperialist, fascist, assassin, genocidal, the empire and 
Israel firing on the people of Palestine and Lebanon. That is what 
happened. And now we hear, "We're suffering because we see homes destroyed.'

The president of the United States came to talk to the peoples -- to 
the peoples of the world. He came to say -- I brought some documents 
with me, because this morning I was reading some statements, and I 
see that he talked to the people of Afghanistan, the people of 
Lebanon, the people of Iran. And he addressed all these peoples directly.

And you can wonder, just as the president of the United States 
addresses those peoples of the world, what would those peoples of the 
world tell him if they were given the floor? What would they have to say?

And I think I have some inkling of what the peoples of the south, the 
oppressed people think. They would say, "Yankee imperialist, go 
home." I think that is what those people would say if they were given 
the microphone and if they could speak with one voice to the American 
imperialists.

And that is why, Madam President, my colleagues, my friends, last 
year we came here to this same hall as we have been doing for the 
past eight years, and we said something that has now been confirmed 
-- fully, fully confirmed.

I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let's 
accept -- let's be honest. The U.N. system, born after the Second 
World War, collapsed. It's worthless.

Oh, yes, it's good to bring us together once a year, see each other, 
make statements and prepare all kinds of long documents, and listen 
to good speeches, like Abel's yesterday, or President Mullah's . Yes, 
it's good for that.

And there are a lot of speeches, and we've heard lots from the 
president of Sri Lanka, for instance, and the president of Chile.

But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative 
organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible 
situation in the world. And that is why Venezuela once again 
proposes, here, today, 20 September, that we re-establish the United Nations.

Last year, Madam, we made four modest proposals that we felt to be 
crucially important. We have to assume the responsibility our heads 
of state, our ambassadors, our representatives, and we have to discuss it.

The first is expansion, and Mullah talked about this yesterday right 
here. The Security Council, both as it has permanent and 
non-permanent categories, (inaudible) developing countries and LDCs 
must be given access as new permanent members. That's step one.

Second, effective methods to address and resolve world conflicts, 
transparent decisions.

Point three, the immediate suppression -- and that is something 
everyone's calling for -- of the anti-democratic mechanism known as 
the veto, the veto on decisions of the Security Council.

Let me give you a recent example. The immoral veto of the United 
States allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon. Right 
in front of all of us as we stood there watching, a resolution in the 
council was prevented.

Fourthly, we have to strengthen, as we've always said, the role and 
the powers of the secretary general of the United Nations.

Yesterday, the secretary general practically gave us his speech of 
farewell. And he recognized that over the last 10 years, things have 
just gotten more complicated; hunger, poverty, violence, human rights 
violations have just worsened. That is the tremendous consequence of 
the collapse of the United Nations system and American hegemonistic 
pretensions.

Madam, Venezuela a few years ago decided to wage this battle within 
the United Nations by recognizing the United Nations, as members of 
it that we are, and lending it our voice, our thinking.

Our voice is an independent voice to represent the dignity and the 
search for peace and the reformulation of the international system; 
to denounce persecution and aggression of hegemonistic forces on the planet.

This is how Venezuela has presented itself. Bolivar's home has sought 
a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council.

Let's see. Well, there's been an open attack by the U.S. government, 
an immoral attack, to try and prevent Venezuela from being freely 
elected to a post in the Security Council.

The imperium is afraid of truth, is afraid of independent voices. It 
calls us extremists, but they are the extremists.

And I would like to thank all the countries that have kindly 
announced their support for Venezuela, even though the ballot is a 
secret one and there's no need to announce things.

But since the imperium has attacked, openly, they strengthened the 
convictions of many countries. And their support strengthens us.

Mercosur, as a bloc, has expressed its support, our brothers in 
Mercosur. Venezuela, with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, is a 
full member of Mercosur.

And many other Latin American countries, CARICOM, Bolivia have 
expressed their support for Venezuela. The Arab League, the full Arab 
League has voiced its support. And I am immensely grateful to the 
Arab world, to our Arab brothers, our Caribbean brothers, the African 
Union. Almost all of Africa has expressed its support for Venezuela 
and countries such as Russia or China and many others.

I thank you all warmly on behalf of Venezuela, on behalf of our 
people, and on behalf of the truth, because Venezuela, with a seat on 
the Security Council, will be expressing not only Venezuela's 
thoughts, but it will also be the voice of all the peoples of the 
world, and we will defend dignity and truth.

Over and above all of this, Madam President, I think there are 
reasons to be optimistic. A poet would have said "helplessly 
optimistic," because over and above the wars and the bombs and the 
aggressive and the preventive war and the destruction of entire 
peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning.

As Silvio Rodriguez says, the era is giving birth to a heart. There 
are alternative ways of thinking. There are young people who think 
differently. And this has already been seen within the space of a 
mere decade. It was shown that the end of history was a totally false 
assumption, and the same was shown about Pax Americana and the 
establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal world. It has been shown, 
this system, to generate mere poverty. Who believes in it now?

What we now have to do is define the future of the world. Dawn is 
breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and Europe and Latin 
America and Oceanea. I want to emphasize that optimistic vision.

We have to strengthen ourselves, our will to do battle, our 
awareness. We have to build a new and better world.

Venezuela joins that struggle, and that's why we are threatened. The 
U.S. has already planned, financed and set in motion a coup in 
Venezuela, and it continues to support coup attempts in Venezuela and 
elsewhere.

President Michelle Bachelet reminded us just a moment ago of the 
horrendous assassination of the former foreign minister, Orlando Letelier.

And I would just add one thing: Those who perpetrated this crime are 
free. And that other event where an American citizen also died were 
American themselves. They were CIA killers, terrorists.

And we must recall in this room that in just a few days there will be 
another anniversary. Thirty years will have passed from this other 
horrendous terrorist attack on the Cuban plane, where 73 innocents 
died, a Cubana de Aviacion airliner.

And where is the biggest terrorist of this continent who took the 
responsibility for blowing up the plane? He spent a few years in jail 
in Venezuela. Thanks to CIA and then government officials, he was 
allowed to escape, and he lives here in this country, protected by 
the government.

And he was convicted. He has confessed to his crime. But the U.S. 
government has double standards. It protects terrorism when it wants to.

And this is to say that Venezuela is fully committed to combating 
terrorism and violence. And we are one of the people who are fighting 
for peace.

Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist who is protected 
here. And other tremendously corrupt people who escaped from 
Venezuela are also living here under protection: a group that bombed 
various embassies, that assassinated people during the coup. They 
kidnapped me and they were going to kill me, but I think God reached 
down and our people came out into the streets and the army was too, 
and so I'm here today.

But these people who led that coup are here today in this country 
protected by the American government. And I accuse the American 
government of protecting terrorists and of having a completely 
cynical discourse.

We mentioned Cuba. Yes, we were just there a few days ago. We just 
came from there happily.

And there you see another era born. The Summit of the 15, the Summit 
of the Nonaligned, adopted a historic resolution. This is the outcome 
document. Don't worry, I'm not going to read it.

But you have a whole set of resolutions here that were adopted after 
open debate in a transparent matter -- more than 50 heads of state. 
Havana was the capital of the south for a few weeks, and we have now 
launched, once again, the group of the nonaligned with new momentum.

And if there is anything I could ask all of you here, my companions, 
my brothers and sisters, it is to please lend your good will to lend 
momentum to the Nonaligned Movement for the birth of the new era, to 
prevent hegemony and prevent further advances of imperialism.

And as you know, Fidel Castro is the president of the nonaligned for 
the next three years, and we can trust him to lead the charge very efficiently.

Unfortunately they thought, "Oh, Fidel was going to die." But they're 
going to be disappointed because he didn't. And he's not only alive, 
he's back in his green fatigues, and he's now presiding the nonaligned.

So, my dear colleagues, Madam President, a new, strong movement has 
been born, a movement of the south. We are men and women of the south.

With this document, with these ideas, with these criticisms, I'm now 
closing my file. I'm taking the book with me. And, don't forget, I'm 
recommending it very warmly and very humbly to all of you.

We want ideas to save our planet, to save the planet from the 
imperialist threat. And hopefully in this very century, in not too 
long a time, we will see this, we will see this new era, and for our 
children and our grandchildren a world of peace based on the 
fundamental principles of the United Nations, but a renewed United Nations.

And maybe we have to change location. Maybe we have to put the United 
Nations somewhere else; maybe a city of the south. We've proposed Venezuela.

You know that my personal doctor had to stay in the plane. The chief 
of security had to be left in a locked plane. Neither of these 
gentlemen was allowed to arrive and attend the U.N. meeting. This is 
another abuse and another abuse of power on the part of the Devil. It 
smells of sulfur here, but God is with us and I embrace you all.

May God bless us all. Good day to you.

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