Thursday, January 15, 2004

Catch up posting!
Part 5 (and last): Transafrica and Danny in Yaracuy


I really did not want to go back on the ridiculous trip by TransAfrica Forum and Danny Glover in Venezuela but I cannot help it. Last Sunday they were at the weekly Chavez show, Alo Presidente, laughing their heads out with his antics and insults, accusing Condolezza Rice of being illiterate. Condi can be accused of many things, but certainly not of illiteracy. I hope that when TransAfrica laughed at Chavez bad joke on Condi, arguably the most powerful Black woman in the US, it was because the translation was lousy.

It is interesting also to observe TransAfrica Forum schedule. The were taken to the only two areas of Venezuela where one could believe to be in Africa: Curiepe and Veroes in my very own Yaracuy. Now I feel a special link with Condi: we both like Classical Piano and she has been insulted from Yaracuy.

All was ended with the usual press conference where TransAfrica Bill Fletcher (where was Danny?)declared that racism in Venezuela was as bad as in the US. One argument was only too credible: the darker the skin the more likely to be living in a shanty. Another argument was just ridiculous: some Black men were denied entrance in discos. They came to Venezuela to find out that private discos reserve the right of admission? Too bad I could not let him know that once I was denied entrance in a Black disco in the US. Maybe there is a TrasnWesternEurope Forum somewhere to address my grievances.

Certainly there are racial problems in Venezuela, but I would suggest the group to stick to DC before moralizing us. In Venezuela "negro" is a term of endearment. Me thinks that TransAfrica was properly manipulated. By the way, the Venezuelan Ambassador to the US was in Veroes sitting next to Danny. Interesting coincidence, no?

Unfortunately for TransAfrica their home paper did not help today. The editorial from the Washington Post states the following:

Another test will come soon in Venezuela, where populist President Hugo Chavez hopes to avoid a recall referendum despite the opposition's recent collection of millions of voter signatures. The administration rightly has been pressing for a democratic solution to the country's growing turmoil, but it has to avoid allowing Mr. Chavez to pretend that his fight is with Washington, rather than his own people.

I wonder if Mr. Fletcher is able to comment. He did declare that his visit covered all grounds, including the opposition. I do not recall any opposition group talking of their meeting with Mr. Fletcher, but I might be ill informed.

But let the reader sleep tight. The real objectives there were self promotion for TransAfrica, and a magnificent surprise opportunity for Chavez to score cheap macho points. Mz. Rice recently called Chavez 's bluff and he cannot look weak in front of the macho portion of his electorate. There might be a price to pay for that insult later, but right now his focus is the Recall Election campaign. Sure enough he would not miss an opportunity to look macho and anti US. He can send flowers to Condi after the elections...

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