Chavez On Aznar

I recently posted on Afoe about the frivolous ways in which people tend to throw around the N*Z* word these days. Latest on the list is Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called former Spanish Premier Jose Maria Aznar a “fascist,” saying Aznar once told him to forget about the poor nations of the world. Chavez recalled late Thursday that Aznar had urged him to get on “the train of the future” and distance himself from Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

Chavez, who met Thursday with Spanish Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jesus Caldera, said he once asked Aznar what he thought of the situation of poor African countries and Haiti. “He told me, ‘Forget about them, those nations missed the train of history. They are condemned to disappear.'” recalled Chavez, saying such ideas remind one of Adolf Hitler. “He is a true fascist. That is the thinking of this gentleman who continues attacking us over there,” said Chavez, who also called Aznar an “imbecile.”

Obviously I am not privy to what Aznar may or may not have said, once upon a time to Chavez. What I do know – despite the fact I have very little respect for Aznar – is that he is no fascist. Neither for that matter is Chavez. Indeed the clip Spanish TV showed of Aznar criticising Chavez publicly was a model of reasonableness.

What is far less clear is what Caldera is doing in Venezuela, and why Zapatero has occupied his time selling arms to Chavez.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".