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Chavez: “Go To Hell, Gringos! Go Home!”

From his fans at Reuters:

Venezuela’s Chavez says "gringos go to hell"

January 21, 2007

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday told the U.S. government to "go to hell" after it questioned his plan to seek special powers to legislate by decree as part of his self-styled socialist revolution.

Chavez, a Cuba ally re-elected by a landslide in December, this month launched a broad campaign to consolidate power by nationalizing key industries, seeking expanded executive powers and pushing for unlimited presidential re-election.

A State Department spokesman on Friday said Chavez’s reform plans have caused "some concern," describing the proposal allowing presidents to rule by decree as "a bit odd" in a democracy.

"That is a sacrosanct legal authority of Venezuela, go to hell gringos! Go home! Go home!" Chavez said during his weekly Sunday broadcast. "We’re free here, and every day we’ll be more free."

Venezuela’s legislature this week is expected to fully approve the Enabling Law that would give Chavez 18 months to decree legislation.

The former soldier has said he would use the expanded powers to end the autonomy of the nation’s central bank, create a national police force and boost state control over the nation’s oil industry, which provides around 11 percent of U.S. oil imports.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey on Friday said the legislation by decree proposal was "a sovereign right of Venezuela but certainly … a bit odd in terms of a democratic system."

Chavez also plans to reform the nation’s constitution, rewritten in 1999 on a campaign Chavez himself led, to boost state control over the economy and remove a two-term limit for presidents.

Chavez in 2001 decreed a package of 40 laws that paved the way for a sweeping land reform initiative and higher taxes for oil companies. The move galvanized the country’s fledgling opposition, which accused Chavez of authoritarianism and staged a botched coup six months later.

The government says previous Venezuelan administrations also used the Enabling Law, though opposition leaders say they reserved the law for emergency measures rather than controversial reforms.

Chavez, who last year called President Bush "the devil" during a U.N. speech, frequently lambastes U.S. government officials and describes the United States as a decadent empire.

The United States has called him a negative force for the region and criticized his close relationship with U.S. foes including Cuba, Iran and Syria.

Of course "gringo" is a racial epithet.

Hopefully the UN or some other international body will bring Mr. Chavez up on charges for his hate crime.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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