Plunging to new lows


In a sign that Hugo Chávez has indeed made headlines in corners of the world we never thought we’d be in, get this: there is a growing controversy in Iran over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s embrace of doña Elena Frías de Chávez at Chávez’s funeral.

The BBC reports on this bizarre story. Apparently, Ahmadinejad consoling Mrs. Chávez – who, let it be known, is 78 years old – is a big no-no in Muslim countries, so much so that the Iranian government quickly did a hack Photoshop job showing Ahmadinejad embracing … José Antonio Abreu? Dr. Evil? Mohammed El-Baradei?

As we snicker at the thought of the grieving Mrs. Chávez being Iran’s answer to Monica Lewinsky, one is left wondering: what the heck? How could Hugo Chávez’s foreign policy antics have plunged us into these sorts of stories? How has our country come to this?

Ugh. The worst part is the real scandal goes unoticed: that chavista women and foreign dignataries gave Ahmadinejad a standing ovation … on International Women’s Day.

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  1. I was struck by that embrace. It was the first time Ahmadinejad looked the slightest bit human to me. Still, I can’t forget that he’s a repugnant man, a misogynist, an anti-Semite, who oppresses his people. The fact that he was given a standing ovation on Friday is a testament to the insanity of chavismo.

    • That standing ovation was a deep and dark insight into Chavista mentality. Ahmadinejad is a monster, who rigged elections, who threatens world peace, mistreats Iranians, and spews hatred. Why are Chavistas idolizing this bastard. Is this model leader they want for Venezuela? He should be banned from Venezuela.

    • That was exactly my thought when I saw the picture of the embrace: this just cannot be kosher by strict Iranian standards, they’ll hang him for this. Hilarious!! Wow. The whole thing has undertones of Romeo and Juliet, forbidden lovers. It does add a nuance to my opinion of Ahma.

  2. Well the Iranian and Venezuelan governments have had a long relationship since 1960 when OPEC was formed and I don’t support the regime in Iran that US government and General Huysar brought forth by supporting the fascist Sayyid Ruhollah Mostafavi Musavi Khomeini and getting the Shah to leave, so the Communists would not come to power.

    But Ahmadinejad only has 4 months left in office, really does not have much power, is hated by the Mullahs and the masses who also hate the mullahs and expect him to be in jail within a short time for corruption.

    And Francisco is correct that Iranian fundamentalism is just way crazier than anything y’all deal with here but the US government brought them to power, just like the right wing fundamentalist they brought to power in Afghanistan because of the Soviets and now in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya by the US supporting the Muslim Brotherhood which the CIA created in the 1950’s. The Arabs have a saying “the dog came back to bite the master”.

    Many of us try to tell President Chavez that and many on the left in Venezuela and around the world know it.

    Rojo Rojito

    • Oh Cort, you still don′t get it, ideology has nothing to do with it, go ahead and try to spin it any way you choose, but the truth is, its all about politics. Chavez saw in Ahmadinejad an allie regardless of what he stood for, in this case treating women like cattle (Though it directly contradicts the values the “Bolivarian Revolution” stands for, like equality of the sexes)
      Also, I like your revisionist view on history by blamming the US (Of course) on getting Khomeini to power.

    • Cort, I am glad you don’t support Ahmadinejad, but what I don’t understand is why you support people who do, and not only him but every crook or dictator in the planet like Mugabe, Ghadaffi et all. Doesn’t that tell you something about Chavistas that you should at least evaluate? I don’t think you would ever support the opposition, it’s obvious by your comments you have communist beliefs and we don’t, but looking at the friends of Chavismo should make you at least stop and consider why is it that you forgive them for cheering Ahmadinejad and you don’t forgive your country for the mistakes of the past.

      • Indirectly the US still supports the Iran regime by working with them in Afghanistan through the Northern Alliance and other groupings and Iran allowed overflights of their the country for US re supply during the opening days of the war their, Iraq when the US sided with the Shitie/Iranian backed government against the Sunni’s, US companies directly/indirectly still sell products to Iran and it really has done nothing to support the many different opposition groupings against the fascist Assad regime which is Iran;s and Israel best friend.

        I didn’t support the Qaddafi regime either but Venezuela’s foreign policy was not based on Proletarian internationalism that socialists view but the ” enemy of my enemy is my friend” just like any other capitalist country and in this case Venezuela still traded with the enemy(US) by selling them oil to run their war machine and economy. I have advocated for years along with some left wing Venezuelans to cut off the oil, to US, kick out the 400 US companies along with the Spanish, Russian, Iranian and Chinese capitalists. But who Venezuela trades with is their right and even in the 4th Republic they still worked with some pretty bad countries.

        Foreign policy was really not run by president Chavez to a certain point but others and even many in the bureaucracy held a Stalinist/petty bourgeois view and confused what anti-imperialism really is. Marxists look to Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Ted Grant, Alan Woods and others to a socialist understanding, that yes we are against imperialist interventions but from a working class viewpoint and not siding with oppressive regimes.

        Foreign policy is really an extension of domestic policy. We all have faults but president Chavez was a great man and no matter what, the people loved him because he helped them not like some who gave and give lip service.


        • Cort, please take a minute to re-read the comments you posted in this thread. Not only do you need to improve your writing skills but your ramblings do not make sense and appear to be those of a paranoid schizophrenic. They add no value to this site. I think it is time you get off the drugs and find a real job. Don’t you have family and friends who care enough to help you?

  3. They applaud him loudest because he is a world class ‘celebrity’ from an outcast country which is always in the news , not because of any views he has on women or anything else , the applause is a sign of the Chavista child like love of shows and frivolity specially it if has a political tinge to it. People forget the guy is soon to be thrown out of office by the Ayatollahs, the real rulers of Iran , that his political career is over and that he has been humiliated by the Ayatollahs time and again!!

  4. Somewhat off-topic, but sharing the spirit of today’s posts (book advertising/dictator bashing/imminent colossally depressing debt-induced economic meltdown) here’s a short excerpt from A Dictator’s Handbook (de Mesquita and Smith), chapter 4 (“steal from the poor, give to the rich”, section on “borrowing”):

    “A leader should borrow as much as the coalition will endorse and markets will provide. There is surely a challenger out there who will borrow this much and, in doing so, use the money to grab power away from the incumbent. So not borrowing jeopardizes a leader’s hold on power. Heavy borrowing is a feature of small coalition settings. It is not the result, as some economists argue, of ignorance of basic economics by third-world leaders.”

    I especially like this later paragraph:

    “However, once the value of access to credit is worth less than the cost of servicing the debt then leaders should default. If they don’t then surely a challenger will come along who will offer to do so. This was one of the appeals of Adolf Hitler to the German people in the 1930s”

    By the way, this remind you of anyone? (hint: Mark Weisbrot loves the guy)

  5. Lows??? Absolute highs! This is so absolutely deliciously hilarious! Poor Ahmad.. did not even intend to embrace, he took a defensive stance by clasping his hands together*, and Elena proceeded to grab his hands and pull herself to him. Thus the very “pained” look on his face as male-female contact for unrelated people is a big shiite nono. All he could do was wait and hope for her to release him.
    They attempted a coverup through photoshop when in fact the original photo was distributed by the venezuela government.
    So A-man is now being picked apart by his mullahs for something he never meant to do.
    At least Venezuelan’s have a heart.


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