Chavez’s plans for the worst present ever…

Aaaand, bigmouth strikes again.

Being the free wheeling, attention seeking, socialist loose cannon that he is, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez couldn’t resist opening up to the press on his plans for his next gift to Obama: Lenin’s  “What Is to Be Done?” arguably one of the most influential texts on the pre-revolutionary Russian socialist movement. And (having had to read it as part of an undergrad history assignment) an extremely boring read.

Reportedly, he did so during a marathon anniversary edition of his broadcast television show, “Hello, President!”  I assume he was on day three and feeling a little loopy.  Although, perhaps he’s taking a cue from our POTUS in his style of gift giving.

Click here for interesting Times Online piece, “This is President  Hugo Chavez speaking, do not adjust your sets…”

And this is your brain after a 4 day t.v. marathon of "Hello, President!"

...and this is your brain on a four day marathon of "Hello, President!"

Oh, and here’s a “candid” picture of Chavez talking about his t.v. show. Enjoy.


“Arab-Latin American ties hailed”…

So reports Al Jazeera following the second Arab-Latin American summit at the beginning of April in Qatar:

Latin American leaders have underscored the importance of economic and political ties with the Arab world in a summit meeting with their Arab counterparts in Qatar.

Tuesday’s meeting, the second Arab-Latin American summit, in Doha, the Qatari capital, followed the conclusion of the Arab League conference in the city.

Though geographically distant, the two blocs are looking to step up trade and investment flows.

The meeting reflects Latin America’s changing priorities – with left-of-centre governments dominating the region, there has been a move away from the US and a push to embrace a multipolar world.

Opening the conference, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, said: “We feel there are a lot of similarities between South America and the Arab world. Both of us also hope for a better future for our populations and we face many of the same challenges.”

For more on this story, click here.

Russia and Venezuela sign big nuclear deal coinciding with joint naval exercises

AFP reports that President Medvedev and Hugo Chavez have signed a nuclear “cooperation accord” for Russia to help Venezuela in building a nuclear plant.

This is an expansion of what has already been a profitable alliance between the two countries since 2006, as Russia has been a major supplier arms to Venezuela, including fighter jets and legion-numbers of Kalashnikov rifles. The deal coincides with pending joint Russo-Venezuelan naval exercises in the Caribbean.

Among other things, the deal also extends to allowing further Russian exploration for fossil fuels in Venezuela as well as industrial cooperation and relaxed immigration requirements for each country’s citizens.

Further partnerships between the two countries seem to be in store for the future, with both Presidents “vow(ing) to work together to establish what they called a “multi-polar” world and agree(ing) to continue arms deals between the two countries.”

Via, al Jazeera, and the UK Telegraph.

This observer is prompted to enquire why a South American country awash in one of the world’s biggest oil reserves needs nuclear power? A nuclear program for military purposes isn’t likely to be successful. Is Chavez jostling for a prime post position in some race for future Latin American nuclear industry?