Venezuela Boasts Latin American Revolution, Challenges Obama at U.N.

During his address to the 64th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the world to join Latin American countries in constructing a new type of socialism.
President Hugo Chavez at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Mérida, September
25, 2009 (– During his address to the 64th
United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez called on the world to join Latin American countries in
constructing a new type of socialism. He also said U.S. President Barack Obama
has brought the "smell of hope" to the U.N., and demanded a return of the
democratically elected president to Honduras, an end to the blockade of Cuba,
and "decisive" action on climate change.

"Nobody will be able
to hold back the great Latin American and Caribbean revolution. The United
States, Europe, and the world should support the revolution, because this
revolution is the beginning of a path toward the salvation of this planet,"
said the president.

"It is an indo-American
socialism, our own American socialism… there is not a catalogue for
constructing socialism, we must create it," Chavez continued.

Chavez distinguished
the movements toward socialism currently underway in Latin America from the
socialisms of the Twentieth Century. "There was never socialism in the Soviet
Union. This century will be the century of socialism," he said. 

The president
explained, "This is another type of revolution. No longer does it sprout from the
mountains with groups of guerrillas, no, this revolution sprouts from the
cities, from the masses, it is peaceful and profoundly democratic."

The last time Chavez
spoke at the U.N. General Assembly was in 2006, when he referred to then U.S.
President George W. Bush as "the devil," and remarked that the podium where
Bush had previously spoken still smelled like sulfur.

On Thursday, Chavez
sniffed the area around the podium and said, "It no longer smells like sulfur
here… Now it smells like hope."

Chavez praised
President Obama's remarks to the U.N. the day before about peace and "a new era
of engagement," but challenged him to turn his words into actions, and not
contradict himself. "Who are you Obama, Obama one, or Obama two?" Chavez asked
in English.

"Yesterday Obama
said that you can't impose any political system on any people, that we must
respect the sovereignty of every country. Well, then, Obama, Mr. President,
what are you waiting for to order the end of the savage and murderous blockade
of Cuba?" Chavez said.

Chavez cited nuclear
proliferation as another example. "No nuclear proliferation. Ok, we agree,"
Chavez said, still directing his comments toward the U.S. "Start with
yourselves by destroying all the nuclear weapons you have. Destroy them,
already. Do it."

The Venezuelan
leader further urged the U.S. government and the international community to
take more "decisive" action on climate change. He extensively cited a previous
speech by former Cuban President Fidel Castro on the rise in global
temperatures, and commented, "We are bringing en end to the planet. Let's
realize it, become conscious, and act."

"Obama said he has
political will for this. Do it, Obama. Go from words to actions," said Chavez.
If the international community produces a new agreement, "Venezuela is fully
willing to subscribe to that decision," said Chavez.

Chavez also brought
up the U.S. government's expansion of its military presence in Colombia in
July, and its continued refusal to recognize as a coup d'état the events of
June 28th in Honduras, during which U.S.-trained Honduran military personnel
kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya and transported him by plane to Costa Rica
via the U.S. military base in Honduras.

Regarding Honduras,
Chavez praised Zelaya for his daring, clandestine return to the Honduran
capital, Tegucigalpa, earlier this week, and urged for the fulfillment of the
resolutions that the U.N. and the Organization of American States passed calling
for the restoration of democracy in the Central American country.

Meanwhile on
Thursday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the Honduran coup regime's "acts
of intimidation against the Brazilian embassy," where Zelaya is currently
residing in Tegucigalpa. When Hondurans demonstrated in support of Zelaya
outside the embassy this week, the coup regime responded by firing water, tear
gas, and shots to break up the crowd, and three demonstrators died.

Chavez ended his hour-long speech by singing a verse from the song
"Meeting with Angels," by Cuban revolutionary singer Silvio Rodriguez. "Let's
be a little bit better, and a little less selfish," Chavez sang, with his arms
held up as though he were strumming a guitar. He also quoted the chorus of
another Rodriguez song, "This era is giving birth to a heart."