The Corner

Height of Vulgarity and the Islamo-Chavez Threat

In a March 9 speech in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez had this to say about President Bush’s recent remarks in Latin America:

CHAVEZ:  And … in the height of ridiculousness …  [Bush] said that today we are all children of George Washington and Simon Bolivar.  In other words, he considers himself a son of Bolivar.  What he is, is a son of a …

AUDIENCE: … B!@%h! (*)

CHAVEZ: That word, I can’t say it here.

There’s more.  Chavez went on to remark that even comparing George Washington to Simon Bolivar is an insult to Bolivar, because George Washington massacred native Americans, defended slavery, and died rich.

For those who are accustomed to hearing Chavez in his colorful Spanish, this display of vulgarity is nothing but ordinary.  What is remarkable about his style is how authentically populist it is in the worst way–how he sugar-coats his political extremism with the slapstick vulgarity of a Chris Rock or Andrew Dice Clay. 

Meanwhile, as Kathryn pointed out earlier, he recently invited Hamas representatives to Caracas — thus joining the Iranian-led effort to support Hamas regardless its failure to comply with international demands that it recognize Israel’s right to exist.  Chavez is about to start throwing oil money at unreformed terrorists that not even Arab states are willing to throw oil money at.

The United States needs to start thinking about where it is going to draw the line with Hugo Chavez — and what our options are for bringing real pressure to bear on his regime.  There are reasons to believe the he needs our oil market more than we need his oil — so unilateral sanctions against Venezuela may prove to be an effective weapon. 

* Hijo de puta: literally, “son of a whore.”

Contributing editor Mario Loyola is senior fellow and Director of the Center for Competitive Federalism at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. He began his career in corporate ...

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