Originally published 03/07/2013
Greg Grandin teaches history at New York University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book, Fordlandia, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.I first met Hugo Chávez in New York City in September 2006, just after his infamous appearance on the floor of the UN General Assembly, where he called George W. Bush the devil. “Yesterday, the devil came here,” he said, “Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of.” He then made the sign of the cross, kissed his hand, winked at his audience and looked to the sky. It was vintage Chávez, an outrageous remark leavened with just the right touch of detail (the lingering sulfur!) to make it something more than bombast, cutting through soporific nostrums of diplomatese and drawing fire away from Iran, which was in the cross hairs at that meeting.The press of course went into high dudgeon, and not just for the obvious reason that it’s one thing for opponents in the Middle East to call the United States the Great Satan and another thing for the president of a Latin American country to personally single out its president as Beelzebub, on U.S. soil no less.
Originally published 02/19/2013
Map of CIA rendition sites. Countries in red cooperate with the CIA to detain and allegedly torture terror suspects. Drawn from data first published in the Washington Post. Map credit: HNN staff/Wiki Commons.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com
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