Human Rights,  Latin America,  North Africa

Chavez and Gaddafi: what now?

As Muammar Gaddafi apparently resorts to massacring his own people in an effort to hold onto power in Libya, I can’t help wondering what his friend Hugo Chavez is thinking.

Chavez, you may recall, was the recipient of the coveted Gaddafi International Human Rights Prize for 2004. We have a good idea now of Gaddafi’s understanding of “human rights.”

If the colonel manages to stay in power, I can only imagine what kind of people would be willing to accept the prize from now on.

As recently as January 30, Chavez said he had spoken to Gaddafi and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad “for a briefing on the protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world.”

“In Egypt, the situation is complicated,” Chavez said.

“Now you are seeing comments from Washington and some European nations. As President Gaddafi said to me, it’s shameful, it makes you kind of sick to see the meddling of the U.S., wanting to take control.”

Chavez visited Gaddafi in Libya last October in preparations for the third Africa-South America Summit, which was scheduled to be held in Libya this year.

In September 2009, Chavez was the guest of honour at a Libyan military parade celebrating 40 years of Gaddafi in power. Six months beforehand, a football stadium in Libya was named after the Venezuelan president.

For some reason, this song comes to mind:

Update: And yet another song comes to mind.

Light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were”

(Hat tip: Daniel Duquenal)