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At UN on Chavez, IMF, Brecht & Marti, FM Jaua Answers ICP on Syria, Jimmy Carter, Probe

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 – After a more than two hour memorial for Hugo Chavez in the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Inner City Press asked Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua about his country's position on Syria.

  Jaua said Venezuela opposes any foreign intervention, “direct or indirect.” He said the solution should come from the Syrian people (“pueblo”), with international help, but peacefully. He did not explain more. Video here.

  Asked about elections and an investigation mentioned by Nicolas Maduro, Jaua cited Jimmy Carter as validating previous Venezuelan elections, and findings that Chavez' cancer was “strange.”

  The United States, when there was silence in the Security Council, sent a person multiply described as a lower level diplomat. Wednesday as the longer General Assembly memorial began, China's Li Baodong and Russia's Vitaly Churkin went into the GA.

  Later, much later, Inner City Press witnessed a legal adviser from the US Mission going in, near the end of the memorial.

  In the speeches, there were more literary references than is usual for the UN. The Permanent Representative of Uruguay cited Bertolt Brecht. (Afterward, in front of the GA, he told Inner City Press he was quoting MERCOSUR.)

  The Permanent Representative of Argentina quoted Jose Marti about “rivers of bones,” leading to the wonder if there can be poetry in consultations of the Security Council, reform of which Chavez called for in 2006, and on which Argentina now serves for two years.

Bolivia's Permanent Representative offered “revolutionary greetings” to Jaua, and said Chavez stood up to the IMF. While Chile was speaking, Inner City Press mused on Twitter that it was Michele Bachelet should should have spoken for the UN. A helpful reply came in, linking to Bachelet calling Chavez “un gran amigo.”

  When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke, he cited Chavez' work in Haiti. It was hard not to think: the UN brought cholera, then found the legal claims “not receivable.” Jamaica's former prime minister P J Patterson has called the UN's rule “disgusting.” What would Chavez have said?

Footnote: in the entrance of the GA is a photo exhibit of the victims in Halabja. One floor down in the basement, it is now said that the Security Council will move out on March 28. Watch this site.

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