Sociable Socialist: Amy Goodman interviewed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for Democracy Now. Below are some excerpts from Chavez’ responses. To read the transcript and watch a video, go here.
We have offered assistance, up to five million dollars, a very modest sum, but I guess it would be useful. We have offered medicine, water, and electric power plants, the same way Cuba offered doctors. So far we have not being authorize to reach the area. However, we hope the best for the poor, the poorest of these countries.
On Pat Robertson’s call for his assassination:
Robertson is not acting alone. He’s just conveying, in a perhaps desperate manner, the thinking of those people closer to Mr. Bush. This is the voice of the most radical – of the extreme right wing in the U.S., I am totally convinced that is the situation with Mr. Robertson. And as you can see, so far there has been no reaction by the U.S. government in this regard. There’s nothing being said about these terrorist remarks that is in full breach of international law and breaches the laws of the United States.
On the Bush administration’s imperialism:
They threatened Chavez. Chavez is nothing. Who is me? I’m nothing. They are threatening the world. That is serious. They invaded Iraq. Without any reason whatsoever. They violated international law and are ignoring the rules of the U.N. Terrorists bombard complete cities, such as Fallujah, Baghdad, innocent women and children. Now, history is long. Hiroshima for instance– Nagasaki, Grenada, Haiti, Panama, Santo Domingo. No, that is not – they do not represent the people of the United States. They are part of the imperialist dictatorship that the U.S. people are suffering today.
On racism and socialism:
Racism is very characteristic of imperialism. Racism is very characteristic of capitalism. Katrina is – indeed, has a lot to do with racism – no doubt about it. Hate against me has a lot to do with racism. Because of my big mouth, because of my curly hair. And I’m so proud to have this mouth and this hair, because it’s African. So we need a new morality, a new ethic at this point. And from my Christian point of view, we need a revolution of the ethic. And in the political and economic fields we need to take back the flag of socialism, in my view – in order to be able to defeat – with the will of the people, with the participation of the people – to beat those ominous phenomenon such as racism.
On America’s consumer culture:
The consumerism of the world is unbearable. The world of the U.S. people must come to understand, how this country with 5 percent of the world population only, consumes 25 percent of the oil and the energy of the world. I mean that type of consumption is totally unbearable and this planet cannot stand it any more.