Saturday, March 10, 2007

Chavez: Bush a political 'cadaver'

"Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's president, has called George Bush, the US president, a "political cadaver" and blasted US policies as "imperialist" as he led 20,000 supporters in an anti-American rally.

Chavez shouted "Gringo go home!" on Friday night to raucous applause in a crowded football stadium in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

Alluding to Bush's waning years in office, Chavez said: "The US president today is a true political cadaver and now he does not even smell of sulphur anymore. "What the little gentleman from the North now exudes is the smell of political death and in a very short time he will be converted into cosmic dust and disappear from the stage."

Chavez added that he did not come to "sabotage" Bush's visit, saying the timing was a coincidence, even as Bush landed in neighbouring Uruguay for a 36-hour visit.

He said: "This act was organised to say 'No!' to the presence of the imperial boss in these heroic lands of our America, in the heroic lands of South America."

'Against the poor'

"North America for the North Americans, South America for the South Americans. This is our America!" he said, standing under a large sign reading "Bush and Imperialism, Out!" and "Yes to Latin American unity!"......

Chavez said Bush's five-nation tour would fail to improve America's image and dismissed his pledges of US aid as a cynical attempt to "confuse" Latin Americans.

On Argentine state television, the Venezuelan leader on Friday, said: "It seems he's just now discovered that poverty exists in the region".

At the stadium rally, about 20,000 people, including men and women with children in tow, applauded Chavez. Claudio Hernandez, a Chilean, said: "We are here to show our support of Chavez and our repudiation of Bush and imperialism. We are against Bush because of his oil wars and his other policies."

Anti-American and anti-Bush sentiments run high in the countries on Bush's tour, particularly over the war in Iraq and US trade negotiations......

In Argentina, many still blame Washington for tolerating the country's brutal military regimes of 1976-1983, when thousands of dissidents were tortured and killed.

The organisers of Chavez's rally included Mercedes Merono of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group still searching for sons and daughters who vanished after being arrested under military rule. Merono said: "This counter-rally is extremely important. Bush seeks to take advantage of Latin America while Chavez supports the region's independence."....."

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