Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.


( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

The Old Comrades:

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Let's welcome in 2006 with a return to medieval Jew-baiting. This up-to-the-minute idea comes from His Excellency Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías:
"...the descendants of those who crucified Christ (...) have taken ownership of the riches of the world, a minority has taken ownership of the gold of the world, the silver, the minerals, water, the good lands, petrol, well, the riches, and they have concentrated the riches in a small number of hands"
Here is the Spanish text - see page 18 for the bit about "los descendientes de los mismos que crucificaron a Christo".

Normblog bends over backwards to be fair. In his second update he implies that, given the words about Bolivar that follow in Chavez's speech, the phrase "the descendants of those who crucified Christ" might be refer metaphorically to all capitalists, rich people or bad people. One of Tim Blair's commenters, "bobpence", makes a similar point and also cites a phrase of Chavez's about 10% of the people owning most of the wealth. Not even Chavez can believe that Jews make up 10% of the world's population, and a Google search of the words "Bolivar" and "Jews" turned up this reference to the fact that "Mordechai Ricardo assisted Venezuelan freedom fighter Simon Bolivar and his two sisters when they escaped to Curaçao" - along with much I didn't know about the Jewish history of the island of Curacao, where the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere can be found.

So it could be that Chavez's use of one of the oldest of anti-semitic tropes was just by the by. Still, he does have a bit of a previous.

Spanish-speakers can find out more about Chavez by reading Caudillo, Ejercito, Pueblo: La Venezuela del Comandante Chávez, by Norberto Ceresole (Estudios Hispano-Árabes, 2000). John Lee Anderson, writing in the New Yorker, described this book as follows:

This is a curious little how-to-be-a-dictator manual, written with Chávez in mind, by his erstwhile Argentine adviser. The author is an intriguing but odious-seeming fellow: In addition to being a Holocaust denier, he claims to have been a former Montonero guerrilla, a friend and adviser to Perón and other Latin military leaders, and a past member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.
Erstwhile adviser. Let's be nice here and remember that "erstwhile". Chavez only used to hang out with Holocaust deniers.