Chavez was never known as a shrinking violet, but there is an incident where he showed mighty restraint. This is what I remember about Hugo Chavez: The King of Spain telling Hugo Chavez to shut up at a conference of Latin American-Iberian friendship in Santiago Chile.
Chavez was rambling on interrupting the Spanish Prime Minister's talk by accusing him of being a Fascist; something that at this moment could not be a bigger insult in Spain no matter how true. After repeated interruptions and attempts by the Prime Minister to continue, The Spanish King leans into the conversation and says angrily , in Spanish, "Why don't you shut up?" This in a nutshell conveys the reality of Latin American-Iberian friendship; you have no voice, you must listen to what we say when we say it.
Chavez continued his rambling, but what was picked up by the North American press was the Spanish King standing up the the "Socialist" and Chavez' inability to make any kind of rebuttal. I see it as not a retreat from verbal battle, but as a heroic bit of restraint from Hugo Chavez. Because if he wanted to, and if he had done what I think he should have done, He could have simply listed what was needed from the Spanish King, and all colonialists, in the Americas:
- Return all the money derived from gold, silver and natural resources stripped from the Americas and shipped to Europe.
- Return all land taken from the indigenous people and remove all European presence from these lands.
- Remove all European money lenders and banks from the Americas as well as any remaining corporations that continue to rape the land.
- And finally, return the dead millions of indigenous people slaughtered in the conquest and maintenance of the European colonial system. Return those enslaved and debased, return those women raped and coerced into satiating the needs of the conquerer.
But he didn't.