“VIVAL FIDEL!” yelled ultra-influential U.S. Congressman (for America’s dominant political party) Charles Rangel right before rushing up and suffocating in a bear hug the man who had craved to nuke him. The scene was Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in October 1995, where the very rafters shook from the thundering chants of “VIVA-FIDEL!—VIVA FIDEL!” issuing from a crowd that also included Maxine Waters.
"Castro is very shy and sensitive," revealed U.S. Senator (and “Conscience” of America’s dominant political party) George McGovern upon first meeting the man who craved to nuke the nation McGovern craved to run as President. "I frankly liked him (Fidel Castro)...I consider him a friend.”
“Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis!” (Dan Rather.)
“Fidel Castro is one hell of a guy! “You people would like him!” (Ted Turner to a beaming crowd at Harvard Law School.)
“Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly—even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!” (Andrea Mitchell.)
"It was quite a moment to behold! Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic!" a hyperventilating Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA)
“Fidel Castro has brought very high literacy and great health-care to his country. His personal magnetism is powerful!” (Barbara Walters)
And on, and on, and on…
When Hugo Chavez visited the United Nations in 2006 and bad-mouthed President George Bush as “the devil,” “a cowboy,” etc. he was roundly denounced by President Bush’s most vocal Democratic opponents.
"You don't come into my country; you don't come into my congressional district and you don't condemn my president!" shot back a scowling Charles Rangel.
"He (Chavez) is an everyday thug," added the angry House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Chavez started his UN rant on the right foot. He held up a book by Noam Chomsky while blasting the U.S. His mentor Castro was undoubtedly nodding at the time: “Nice..very nice.”
But Hugo quickly got carried away and went off the rails, blasting Bush himself. “No, No, NO, Hugo!” Castro probably moaned with his face in his hands. “The beauty of this thing, Hugo, is that so many American leftists are so eager to echo our ravings that there's absolutely no need for us to mouth them ourselves, you IDIOT! It’s practically impossible to get Democrats riled up against a Latin Marxist – and here you've managed it, YOU IDIOT! Now look what you've done! Prominent Democrats – my historic allies – from Rangel to Pelosi are speaking against you! I've relied on such people to mouth or echo my ravings for decades, Hugo!”
For simply saying the U.N. "smelt of sulfur," Chavez was censured by prominent New Yorkers. After twice trying to make the entire city smell of charred flesh, his mentor, Fidel Castro, got a reception to shame Simon and Garfunkel's in Central Park.
When Fidel Castro visited New York in 1995 he was "The Toast of Manhattan!”, and wined and dined from Council on Foreign Relations to The Wall Street Journal with dozens of The Beautiful People lining up for his autograph. The jailer and torturer of the longest suffering black political prisoners in modern history was bear-hugged by Charles Rangel. The jailer and torturer of the most female political prisoner in the modern history of the western hemisphere was hugged and smooched by feminist Diane Sawyer. The jailer and torturer of the most journalists in the modern history of the Western hemisphere found everyone from Dan Rather to Mike Wallace to Tina Brown lining up for his autograph. The jailer and torturer who abolished private property within his Stalinist fiefdom found David Rockefeller and Mort Zuckerman crowding around him for a handshake.
The mass-murderer was not only the man "to see" but the one to be seen with.
Chavez was a cheap chump and clown. Maybe if he'd twice come within a hair of incinerating New York, he'd have been bestowed the proper cachet' -- and the city's elite would now be paying him the proper respect.
(An oh, regarding Hugo Chavez's death, while all the media and academic wizards and soothsayers were pussyfooting and using weasel-words, a Townhall columnist went on record on Canada's SunNews last Friday and categorically stated that: "All hope is gone for his survival -- Hugo Chavez will die within days." 4 days later Hugo was dead.)
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.