Humberto Fontova

When it came to thundering against the “Yankee imperialists!” Hugo Chavez sure talked a good one. But despite his bluster and monkeyshines he wasn’t crazy enough to lift a finger against his top customer, or even wish him (genuine) harm. It’s impolitic to reveal, but the U.S. is –by far--the biggest customer for Venezuelan oil. Hugo Chavez was our fourth largest oil supplier, behind only Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

But that’s all behind the scenes. Now on stage we had a first-class vaudeville show:

"Yesterday the devil (President George Bush) came here! Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today." [Hugo Chavez at the UN, Sept. 2006)

“You are ignoramus, you are a burro, Mr. Danger... You are a donkey, Mr Danger! You are a donkey, Mr. George W Bush!”

“You are a coward, Mr. Bush, a killer, a perpetrator of genocide, an alcoholic, a drunk, a liar, an immoral person, Mr. Danger. You are the worst, Mr. Danger. The worst of this planet! A psychologically sick man, I know it! “

"You are a fraud, Obama. ... Go and ask many people in Africa!..You are an Afro-descendant, but you are the shame of all those people!"

"Capitalism is the way of the devil and exploitation!” (Upon his death, btw, Chavez’ fortune was estimated at $2 billion.)

And the gallery ate it up—though Fidel Castro probably cringed at his protégé’s buffooneries. Hugo Chavez, after all, kept Castro’s Stalinist regime afloat with $6 billion a year in subsidies. His protégé (this gladiator against “imperialism!” and “foreign bullying!” this paragon of “national sovereignty!”) also allowed 10,000 of Castro’s KGB-tutored spies and soldiers to essentially run Venezuela.

Castro’s apparatchiks ran Venezuela right down to making up Hugo Chavez’ squad of bodyguards. Oh, I know, I know, the media (especially those networks bestowed Havana bureaus) dutifully recited that all 50,000 Cubans in Venezuela were selfless, “doctors and teachers,” Castro’s Peace Corps, minus only the Peter, Paul and Mary soundtrack.

Tell it to the Venezuelan demonstrators who for the past few months were burning Cuban flags, burning Castro in effigy while yelling “Cubans Go Home!” (What? You say the U.S. media—especially those outlets bestowed Havana bureaus--didn’t report this? They blacked out an item featuring the very type of scenes and soundbites the MSM habitually slobbers over?....Hummmm?)

Humberto Fontova

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