Hugo Chávez outdoes even Iran in fostering the most nauseating kind of anti-Semitism among the ruling elites while pushing comical conspiracy theories about the Jews.
Did you know that in the late 1960s, the Bilderberg Club decided to use drugs and big outdoor rock concerts to stop the increasing discontent among the population? In order to prevent people from joining the civil rights movement or paying attention to Vietnam, the CIA and Britain’s MI6 placed the Beatles before the American audience.
If you are not familiar with this course of history, you are probably not a regular reader of the Reflexiones del Comandante en Jefe. In two of his journalistic columns, Fidel Castro recently included lengthy quotes from the Lithuanian writer and conspiracy theorist Daniel Estulin. Conspiracy theories are wildly popular among Latin American leftists: They have become to them what Lenin was to Soviet communists. Frequently they are mixed with anti-Semitism.
When former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted and expelled from his country, he blamed the Jews: “Israeli mercenaries” were torturing him with some sort of extraterrestrial weapons, he told the press, and one could clearly recognize what influence his mentor Hugo Chávez had on him (certainly a stronger one than the Zionist radiation). Under Chavez’s rule, Venezuela has become the epicenter of anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories in Latin America.
Unlike many anti-Semitic hypocrites in Europe or the USA, Chavistas don’t even bother to camouflage their Jew-hatred; it comes naked. Just take a look at Aporrea.org, their most important website, which is sponsored by the Venezuelan government. Use the searchword “judios” (Jews), and you will be amazed how similar the Venezuelan “socialism of the 21st century” and the German National Socialism of the 1930s are. In this article some examples will be given — which are perhaps not even the most bizarre ones (there are so many, and the race is really too close to call):
Pedro Mendez (“Judios, intrigantes y asesinos”) wants to prevent the Jews — who are “children of the father of lies,” according to his interpretation of the Bible — from “doing away with the race of the non-elect” and calls upon the world to unite against them before it´s too late. Likewise, Ivana Cardinale, a radio moderator from state radio station YVKE, is convinced that Jews view themselves as a “superior race,” treat non-Jews “like animals,” and aspire to control the world (“Palestina: Tierra robada por los judíos”).
Many Aporrea authors dispute the Holocaust (“Whether the Holocaust was real or an exaggeration is a pending issue”) or deny it outright, calling it a “myth” that the Jews designed in order to rule the world. When they speak about the “Holocaust” they mean the “Holocaust” that the Jews allegedly commit against the Arabs or, even more surprising, the one that the Venezuelan opposition tries to commit against the Chavistas: “They are fascists but we are not German Jews.” Evaristo Marcano Marin (“A cazar judios”) is a hunter: “To hunt a Jew should be a labor of peace and love. Every Jew you hunt down, catch him with a net of love and affection. Tell him that we humans know that they could also become humans and that if we achieve that noble purpose, they will be capable of: respecting, loving, feel solidarity with people, feel and love others. Tell him that those feelings exist and are part of some humans.”
Luis Rivero Badaracco, author of the article “Los Holocausteros,” mocks the victims of the Holocaust. “Why,” he wonders, had “the Jews (in the concentration camps) never rebelled?” There is “no evidence that they had ever rebelled,” he claims, and answers his silly question himself: “Jews are selfish.” They were thinking: “If I am good, I may be saved. To hell with the others.” As a “proof” he mentions the Jewish members of the Sonderkommandos: “The workers who brought the Jews to the gas chambers and collected the bodies were Jewish.” Who would give Mr. Badaracco — who, by the way, is a professor of agricultural engineering — some lessons in history? Maybe his Aporrea colleague James Petras (professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University), who calls Barack Obama “the first Jewish president of the USA“?
Under Chávez, Venezuela has turned into a madhouse where every anti-Semitic crank passes as a philosopher and fighter for social progress. Like the Nazis, the Chavistas associate the Jews with all the alleged evils of capitalism. They are perceived as a “dark force” that controls every part of the world economy.
Some of the propaganda can actually be described as incitement to genocide. This is best illustrated by the article “La Verdad sobre la Dominación Sionista: Genocidio Global Controlado y el ‘Armageddon’ Artificial” by Ever Pisani, director of the “Fundación Proyecto Libertador.” Mr Pisani starts with a paragraph about the “world today.” The decade began with the “collapse” of the World Trade Center, followed by the “sudden” and “mysterious” appearance of diseases like mad-cow disease, bird flu, and pig flu. Then came the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the financial crisis. Guess who is to blame for all the mess? Pisani knows.
He has a quarrel with some guys, specifically with the “elite, made up of a group of Zionists who are determined to tyrannize mankind and whose ultimate goal is to create a ‘New World Order’ in which they will be the apex of the pyramid.” Claiming to “be the chosen people of God” and “using the myth of the Holocaust,” they think that they possess a “divine right to rule the earth,” according to Pisani. These “Zionists” are behind everything: the government, of course; the IMF; the World Bank; the Bilderberg Club; and even the United Nations (you may wonder why they don’t make better use of this potential).
However, the mean Jews gradually destroy the current system in order to erect a new one where they will have even bigger sticks. In order to prove his claims, the author asserts that they are based on the strictly scientific Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The only obstacles the Zionists face on their way to complete world domination are, by the way, some rebellious countries, well-known strongholds of freedom like Venezuela, Cuba, China, Iran, and North Korea. This clash of interests explains why the “Zionists” are at odds with these states. Sounds convincing, right? But how are the Jews going to reach their goal? Enter the super-virus. The diseases named above were artificially created (like AIDS which was spread in Africa through the polio vaccine, according to Pisani), but “everything indicates that these diseases are child’s play compared with the final virus” the Zionists will use to “depopulate the earth.” The author thinks that it is conceivable that the virus could be inoculated through “the products they monopolize” — like “packaged food or toothpaste.” So don’t drink the Kool-Aid and don’t brush your teeth.
Of course, there are loonies in every country. But in Chavez’ Venezuela the hatred against Jews is endorsed by the government. “For the first time in recent history we see what I would call government sponsored anti-Semitism in a Western country,” says Sammy Eppel, a Jewish activist in Venezuela. In his notorious Christmas speech in 2005, Chávez deplored that “the descendants of those who crucified Christ … have taken ownership of the riches of the world.” Last year he called Colombia the “Israel of Latin America.” Police raids in Jewish schools foster a climate of fear and stigmatize Jews as the enemy of the “Bolivarian Revolution” — especially those Jews who dare to oppose the government.
When Capriles Radonski, a popular politician of the opposition party “Primero Justicia” whose family are Holocaust survivors, ran for governor in the state of Miranda in November 2008, he became the target of vicious anti-Semitic attacks. Radonski was tagged as being a “member of the wealthy Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie,” a “villain” and “genetically a fascist.”A redshirted Chavista mob led by the mayor of Miranda’s capital city Los Teques attacked Radonski’s house and painted swastikas on it. Anti-Semitic graffiti has become a common sight in Venezuela. But in spite of their frequently uttered hatred against Jews, Chavistas usually deny that there is any anti-Semitism in Venezuela. When a synagogue in Caracas was attacked and vandalized in January 2009, some journalists claimed that the Mossad was behind that attack.
This month, prior to the parliamentary elections and after Fidel Castro had condemned anti-Semitism, Hugo Chávez met with leaders of Venezuela’s Jewish community. Afterwards he said that he “respected and loved” the Jews. However, he refused to restore diplomatic ties with Israel which he had severed in January 2009, and he doesn’t plan to stop the anti-Semitic incitement.
If his power is endangered or if the economy continues its downturn (which is all but certain if the government maintains its current economic policies), Chávez may again step up his anti-Zionist rhetoric. The situation can escalate anytime. Under Chávez, violent crime has become endemic; the country has one of the highest homicide rates on the continent, and for a good reason: nobody trusts the police.
In conjunction with a highly polarized political climate — Chavez regularly blames the opposition for alleged coup attempts and even mobilizes for war with Colombia — and constant anti-Semitic incitement, this becomes a dangerous mix. Half of Venezuela’s Jewish population has already left the country during the last decade. Those who have stayed will remain under siege as long as Chávez is in office.