Little Green Footballs

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What Chavez really said

You may recently have come across the "Chavez is anti-semitic" meme which is being fervently spread by the wingnut blogosphere. Charles Johnson featured it on LGF on 2 January ( and it has been thrown about endlessly in LGF comments as well as becoming a central plank of the thesis that Hugo Chavez is a crazy dictator who needs to be deposed.

The wingnuts are by far not the only people spreading this meme: the Simon Wiesenthal center condemned Chavez's remarks, and even intellectuals in his own country warned Chavez was treading a dangerous path.

The problem is that the meme is largely based on a single paragraph from a speech Chavez gave on 24 December. According to Charles Johnson et al, Chavez said:

“the descendants of those who crucified Christ... have taken ownership of the riches of the world, a minority has taken ownership of the gold of the world, the silver, the minerals, water, the good lands, petrol, well, the riches, and they have concentrated the riches in a small number of hands.”

What Chavez actually said is quite different, as FAIR points out:

The world has an offer for everybody but it turned out that a few minorities--the descendants of those who crucified Christ, the descendants of those who expelled Bolivar from here and also those who in a certain way crucified him in Santa Marta, there in Colombia--they took possession of the riches of the world, a minority took possession of the planet’s gold, the silver, the minerals, the water, the good lands, the oil, and they have concentrated all the riches in the hands of a few; less than 10 percent of the world population owns more than half of the riches of the world.

And, if you prefer, here is the original quote in Spanish:

El mundo tiene para todos, pues, pero resulta que unas minorías, los descendientes de los mismos que crucificaron a Cristo, los descendientes de los mismos que echaron a Bolívar de aquí y también lo crucificaron a su manera en Santa Marta, allá en Colombia. Una minoría se adueñó de las riquezas del mundo, una minoría se adueñó del oro del planeta, de la plata, de los minerales, de las aguas, de las tierras buenas, del petróleo, de las riquezas, pues, y han concentrado las riquezas en pocas manos: menos del diez por ciento de la población del mundo es dueña de más de la mitad de la riqueza de todo el mundo y a la...

As you can see, Charles deleted the part of the speech which makes it clear that Chavez was not speaking of Jews (in any case, it was the Romans who crucified Jesus, but let's leave the Biblethumping to the wingnuts).

While Charles did use elipses to indicate that something had been cut from the quote, the fact that he deleted such an essential part of it is nothing less than deception.

Typical Charles Johnson...

1 comment:

adultmalebluegrouse said...

Good work. Keep it up guys.