Chavez Slams Rich Nations at Copenhagen

Chavez Slams Rich Nations at Copenhagen, Calls for Systemic Change to Save Planet

By Kiraz Janicke
December 16, 2009 –

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

President Hugo ChavezDuring his speech to the 15th United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez slammed the “lack of political will” of the most powerful nations to take serious action to avert climate change, and called for systemic change to save the planet.

FULL TEXT: Venezuelan President’s Speech on Climate Change in Copenhagen

Chavez, who received a standing ovation for his speech, said the process in Copenhagen is “not democratic; it is not inclusive.” In particular, he criticised an attempt by rich countries to overturn the Kyoto Protocol. Doing so would eliminate differentiation between the obligations of rich and poor countries, treating countries from the Global North and South as equally responsible for climate change.

“There is a group of countries that believe they are superior to those of us from the South, to those of us from the Third Word… this does not surprise us… we are again faced with powerful evidence of global imperial dictatorship,” Chavez said.

The Venezuelan president also applauded the initiative of the protesters outside the summit who were calling for serious measures to stop catastrophic climate change.

“There are many people outside… I’ve read in the news that there were some arrests, some intense protests there in the streets of Copenhagen, and I salute all those people out there, the majority of them youth… They are young people concerned for the world’s future,” he said.

“I have been reading some of the slogans painted in the streets… One said, ‘Don’t Change the Climate, Change the System!’ – And I bring that on board for us. Let’s not change the climate. Let’s change the system! And as a consequence, we will begin to save the planet. Capitalism is a destructive development model that is putting an end to life, that threatens to put a definitive end to the human species.”

Another notable slogan is, “If the climate were a bank, they would have bailed it out already,” Chavez said during his speech. “It’s true; the rich governments have saved the capitalist banks,” he said, but they lack “the political will” to make the necessary reductions to greenhouse emissions.

“One could say there is a spectre at Copenhagen, to paraphrase Karl Marx… almost no-one wants to mention it: the spectre of capitalism,” he declared.

History requires all people to struggle against capitalism, and if we don’t, life on the planet “will disappear,” the Venezuelan president argued.

“Do the rich think they can go to another planet when they’ve destroyed this one?” he asked as he recommended a copy of a book by Hervé Kampf, “How the Rich are Destroying the Planet.”

“Climate change is undoubtedly the most devastating environmental problem of this century. Floods, droughts, severe storms, hurricanes, melting ice caps, rise in average sea levels, ocean acidification, and heat waves, all of that sharpens the impact of global crisis besetting us,” he continued.

Human activity is exceeding the limits of sustainability and endangering life on the planet, but the impacts of climate change are also being felt disproportionately by the world’s poor, Chavez explained.

He also pointed to the relationship between economic inequality and levels of greenhouse gas emissions. He said the richest 500 million people, or 7% of the world’s population, are responsible for 50% of global greenhouse emissions, while the poorest 50% of the worlds population are responsible for only 7% of total emissions.

Using this analysis, he argued that it was not feasible to call countries such as the U.S. and China to sit at the summit on an equal footing, insisting that the same obligations can not be imposed on both nations.

The U.S., with a population of 300 million, consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil a day, while China, whose population is almost five times greater than that of the U.S., consumes around 5-6 million barrels a day, he pointed out.

The behind-the-scenes negotiations at the summit have been marked by sharp disputes between the U.S. and China, and between rich and poor nations. Poor countries have criticised rich countries for attempting to set inadequate emissions targets for industrialised countries and for pledging insufficient funding for poor countries to alleviate the impacts of climate change.

According to various reports, poor nations argue that rich countries should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The European Union has pledged a 20 percent reduction. The U.S. however, has only offered only a 3-4 percent cut.

Outside in the streets of Copenhagen mass demonstrations calling for “climate justice” have been repressed by police using pepper spray and batons. More than 1000 people have been arrested.

“We ask from Venezuela: How much longer are we going to allow such injustices and inequalities? How much longer are we going to tolerate the current international economic order and prevailing market mechanisms?” Chavez questioned.

Chavez called for the summit to change direction. “We cannot continue like this. Let’s change course, but without cynicism, without lies, without double agendas, no documents out of the blue, with the truth out in the open,” he said.

Hugo Chavez’s Speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (VIDEO)


FULL TEXT: Venezuelan President’s Speech on Climate Change in Copenhagen

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20 thoughts on “Chavez Slams Rich Nations at Copenhagen”

  1. It was Georges Clemenceau who once said that “War is too serious a matter to leave to soldiers.” To that I’ll add politics as well, especially if led by an insecure , self serving character. Talk about bombastic political posturing by a one time military elite ,. and now champion of the the global poor ,and oppressed , outside of his own Venezuela. What do you know ,although no Castro himself ,since coming to office ,Chavez has consistently talk the talk, much to the delight of die hard , non independent thinking,intellectual admirers , and a few resource deficient , desperate Caribbean nations, prepared to he useful pawns in his diabolical so call anti US and broader anti Western concoctions.
    Let’s hope he can walk the walk and deliver when expected as he lay in nuclear obsessed Iran and her nutty spiritual Shiite Mullahs . Who knows he might be able the place the cornered and wounded Russian bear , as the former desperately tries to squeeze on the American juggler with pretense of nuclear partnership in their backyards, while the latter sells him billions in military hardware , much to the disgust of EU and American political and business entities.
    “The U.S., with a population of 300 million, consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil a day, while China, whose population is almost five times greater than that of the U.S., consumes around 5-6 million barrels a day, he pointed out.” I wonder how much of that 20 million are being serviced by Venezuela ,one of the US Leading energy importing partners. Last time I checked ,both the USA and China were two of the top culprits in terms of pollution of the environment . which therefore makes the well crafted words of the self serving ,military honcho sound hollow , one would think.
    Oh how you miss the likes of politicians that understood their craft in the vain of yesteryear Otto von Bismarck the master of Realpolitik. It is our hope that several confused states willing to grab on to Chavez oil and gas soaked jock strap for dear life , would soon come to their senses and recognize that the political oasis that they view far away in the distance outside of poor Caracas , might turn out to be a quickly evaporating mirage ,once ‘push comes to shove.’That includes most of you in English Caribbean leaders that talk at length about independence and post colonialism , yet lack the ability to corral your respective nations into finally supporting the long delayed , and maligned Caribbean Appeals Courts, but were busy during the recently concluded Commonwealth conference stabbing each other in the back as you fight to see who can get a better opportunity to hold up the helm of the Queen’s petticoat as you ,prostrate and proclaim your eternal loyalty to mother Britannia via the Privy Council , in return for a few EU economic crumbs.
    It is said that the world is full of good intentions, and so in time Chavez , unlike Castro would translate to some good for his people. The latter can scream with delight about lofty political legacies as outlasting most capitalist and socialist leaders over the past 6 or more decades. He and his military brother can invite every Prime Minister to enjoy their wonderful health care service , and take pride in helping numerous countries liberate themselves for colonial oppressions, but the Cuban people have paid too dear a price , and I suspect that his prodigy might be digging in for the long haul as he too subject his people to a similar lost cause , pipe dream.
    i stand corrected.

  2. Sometimes, well meaning Trinis comment nonsensically on things they may only read in the press about. Castro bashing is one such. Chavez bashing is another. Castro’s Statistics: Every Cuban can read. Everyone. AIDS is contained in a separate village, to keep irresponsible people from infecting the entire population. All medical and dental care is free.Remember Elian Gonzales’beautiful smile? All the other Cuban chldren smile like that. Right now, TnT is trying to raise funds for a child’s surgery abroad. The sick poor are always in desperate straights in TnT. In Cuba, that would not be a concern. The most difficult medical procedures are done, without cost. Schools are orderly, and quiet.
    Since TnT enjoys good relations wih Cuba, as well as with Venezuela, trinis wanting to see how others live should not limit themselves to overcrowded, stinking Brooklyn or crime infested Washington DC,or the increasingly raggedy Younge Street. Go see our neighbors- see Cuba, visit schools, and get some ideas of how to develop children without licks.
    Visit Venezuela, but go beyond the stores with cheap shoes.Look at the society.

    It is usual for the First World to dismiss Chavez as a buffoon
    and rabble rouser. Well, did not the Romans dismiss Christ the same way?Until he challnged the tax system in the temple. Then, they crucified him. Mandela was dismissed as a terrorist. Tubal Uriah Butler was jailed as a trouble maker, and so was Gandhi, numerous tmes. Just last year, Mugabe of Zimbabwe was being demonized, now the EU wants “to do business with him”, which means that Zim’s supplies of gold, coltan and other minerals must be open for bidding, and airline routes are upfor grabs. The canards!
    We of the Third World, regardless of where we live, should never forget that we were assumed to be unciivilized , ignorant people, incapable of learning. This was promulgated by all the colonial masters. Not a one stood apart from the crowd.Yet, we identify almost solely with the attitudes of the metropolitan societies. We, apparently, do not think for ourselves.

    Chavez, like all leaders, has his own self interest, but his forceful personality makes the world sit up and notice. The much maligned Third World could only benefit from his didactic manner. Rajiv Gandhi was the champion of the Third World, until like all with that doomed name, they got him too.
    Castro, despite all the attempts,keeps Cuba free of American vices and venality. Chavez, the first Afro-Indio president of Venezuela is keeping his country free of outside interference in his country’s oil interests.
    I salute them both, in Butler’s name.

  3. Manning: We did it in Port of Spain…
    Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday told world leaders that they can reach a comprehensive agreement on climate change during crucial talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, today, just as many of them did in Port of Spain at the end of November.

    P.M. halt climate crisis
    “LET brotherly love prevail,” said Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday, urging delegates to break the deadlock at the United Nations Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen, Denmark, which ends today.

  4. Perhaps I should break down my position on the Chavez Presidency , and that of any other similar impostor who strives to be a political statesman throughout history ,whether they be Napoleon ,Hitler, Mussolini,Ike, Musharef , Sharon,or Id Amin. They are all failures Ms.L ,and history would support me on that. There is one principal reason why this is so.
    Successful politicians are made of a different cloth, for they understand the true principles of compromise and pragmatism. Soldiers were not trained to operate in that vain, tend to have tunnel vision, and across the ranks ,are often no different to wild horses with blinders on. It is not for me to question your sense of logic and reasoning when you choose to support characters that talks about freedom and equality, while locked in the socialist ideological bandwagon , and at the same time unwilling to support any form of dissent by oppositions.
    Here you are enjoying the fruits of democracy in the state of Texas while also demanding that your country try to live up to similar ideals , yet cannot wish the same for others that have to endure the likes of Mugabe, Castro , and Chavez the political opportunist.
    If after 60 years of non democratic rule, a few citizens of present day 19century Cuba cannot have a perfect smile, then the elite brothers of Castro and Raul ,should be both castrated, gutted , and left to rot on the street of Havana for what they have subjected so many of their unfortunate citizens to-before they eventually die in office.
    Tell the childish showman Chavez when you visit Caracas for me, to stop the useless preaching , and denunciations gestures , as no one is really impressed other than a few paid fans , and misguided closet socialist heads of left wing think thanks across the globe.
    If he however is interested in curbing global warming , let him instead issue an eddic that from this day forward ,Venezuela will never drill or extract any gas or oil for use ,or exports. Perhaps instead, his country can resort to cultivating more beauty queens, as a means of helping his country’s desperate to escape the drudgery of lasting poverty they appear to be unable to escape , as he attempts to be Castro’s clone and successor.

  5. Sometimes people argue just to be heard. Others do so because they just want to win. I’m not so sure about Chavez. To me, he is so anti West and Anti- American that he is willing to say and do anything even if he bites the hand that feeds him. He cannot be compared to Castro without insulting Castro.
    For years the Cubans have done more with less.
    However, I’m not sure who the worse leaders are. Is it the leaders of TNT or Venezuela? I’m not going to waste time and energy comparing except to say that they are both running their nations into the ground. Immigrants of both nations to the U.S. would rather live in Yankee slums like Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Jersey, Baltimore, and D.C. rather than fight the corruption in their paradise. That speaks volumes for the severity of the problem.

  6. I do not think Chavez gives a mouse’s dung what one TnT commenter like you think. I look at history more broadly. We were all educated to assume, like good litle colonials, that the Graeco-Roman-Judean-Western-Christianity model of development is best for everyone. When the exploiters are forced out, the white Castillians of Venezuela,whose children go to school in Spain and the USA, they groan to high heaven, and try to get “western” nations to intervene. Same is true of Bolivia, under its indigenous president Evo Morales, and true of Brazil under Lula de Silva. The grand landowners who control those economies, are cut from the same cloth as those who opposed Mugabe, and were on BBC TV every day; and the Chiquita-Geest-United Fruit complex that owns 9000 square miles of banana plantations in Belize. Such people naturally want the government on their side, while they run rough-shod over the people. In every case, the election of a pro-indigene government causes runbles of fear.
    Check your own TnT history, as to who went to Westminister when Eric Williams went to try to achieve independence.The was a contingency who went to oppose. Check the names of the whites who went in opposition. Fortunately for Williams, he was smarter than they, and his team included all four major groups on the island, Whites, Chinese, Indians and Africans and all the mixtures in between. He also had statistics to show the number of university educated people, the number of hospital beds and the number of secondary school places. The others had nothing, they had done nothing for us, except taught us to read well enough to be good clerks, and junior police officers.
    Because Williams did not hammer this information into the heads of the people of TnT some of us do not know, and some of us pretend to forget.

    I believe that NALIS now have historical records available online. Please look at our own country’s evolution to understand that the Europeans in no country, even where they have savaged the indigenes for hundreds of years, ever give up.
    The worst among such Europeans are the ones with two tespoons of European blood, to which heritage they cling. They are often used, in places like Brazil, to savage the others. In all of the Americs, bar non, class warfare is race warfare. Accident,you think?

  7. Does anyone take Chavez seriously. The man is a nut job like Ahmadinejad of Iran. He wanted the change the Venezuelan constitution to make himself president for life. He is changing his country’s passport every month so people cannot leave, and he is threatning the USA and making arms deals with Russia, Iran and others. A number of Venezueland are flleing to Trinidad and causing an illegal immigration problem.

    Does he really think the USA will allow Cuba in its backyard? Wake up Mr Chavez and smell the coffee or is it sulphur. He should concentrate on making the life of his citizens better instead of spending millions in arms and ammunition to threaten his neighbors.

  8. Exactly who has Chavez threatened? Are you, Sargeant Ali an ambassador for the USA’s war machine?.Modern Cuba HAS existed in America’s back yard since Castro come down from the mountains.Castro has outlasted ten US presidents, at least.If I was Chavez, and the US under Bush had tried to overthrow my goernment a few times, I would stock up on ammunition aso. Why are you not telling Israel to stop stocking up?Or building more nuclear warheads?

  9. Hey Curtis the leaders in T&T are by far worst, the leaders in Venezuela stand for something in T&T they stand for corruption whilst the citiznes lack the basics. the rich gets richer through exploitation and defrauding the state, whilst the govnt does nothing, because they depend on these people to finance their parties, but the voters are the real idiots, they continue to blindly support the corrupt regime.

  10. I would not get into this too much, except that whilst I dont agree with the means, I do agree that Chavez is right by opposing the West wanting to dictate how his country should be run, the west has a history in poking its nose to their own benefit. Chavez and Castro have sttod up to this.

  11. Due to the level of propaganda against Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez, put out to uphold destructive capitalism, it comes as no surprise that many people are against him while unable to clearly articulate why. The anti-Chavez campaign is well financed and it involves capitalists the world over who feel he is a threat to their economic domination. The mainstream media is anti-Chavez as they are owned by these same elites who feel threatened by what Chavez is trying to develop.

    The type of socialism that President Chavez is advancing favors a more equitable distribution of goods and services. He is advancing a more level field of opportunity for the most disenfranchised members of society, starting with education, healthcare, land reform and business redistribution. I am in support of all the policies that Chavez has advanced in Venezuela to aid the development of the common people and to ensure that their interests are protected.

    The U.S. has always shown that they are willing to use force to advance their political and economic agendas, with proof positve Venezuela is targeted; the U.S. backed a coup that briefly overthrew Chavez in 2002 and they are setting up military bases in Columbia, which borders Venezuela. Chavez is quite right to develop the Venezuelan military to ward off any attempt to destabilize Venezuela by the U.S. and their Columbian allies.

    Chavez is a very progressive and revolutionary leader. Depending on how people view themselves socially, they would either love him or hate him.

  12. About thirty years ago, when Venezuela first tried nationalizing the oil industry, the big western oil companies began capping off the oil wells. Their plan was to turn over an oil industry that was stagnant, unproductive, and would ruin the country. But in every collection of thieves,there is one with a concience. One blew the whistle, and the industry was nationalized overnight, thus twarting the big companies attempts to ruin the economy.
    Younger Venezuelans of the wealthy class must have very poor memories, or maybe so much stacked in Swiss bank accounts that they have forgotten history. About 5% of every country’s people are untouched by economic strictures, no matter how dire. It is that wealthy class that would sacrifice a country’s people, their country’s people, for their own protection. They live in TnT too, behind barred gates in the St. Clair area and other places like that.
    They are anti everything that means the people may get a break. They are the ones in the US senate who want the health care bill read aloud, every word, in an attempt to prevent a poor family with no health care, from getting the same level of care that they have. Eventualy, such people die of the same cancers that the poor get, and nothing can save them.

  13. Yes they are in T&T too, behind the St. Clair and other gates, but you may also want to know that they finance political parties too, the very political parties that the “blind loyalists” continue to elect election after election because they look like them, but god forbid another party gets into power, suddenly these idiots know all about corruption, but presently they have no issues concerning corruption at all, rather they do but are prepared to ignore it.

  14. Linda, I still think Chavez is a nut job, trying to be a “strong man” in South America. He is an embarrassment and a comedian on the world stage as far as I am concerned. I am no ambassador for America but I am proud to be an American. In my previous comment, I meant to say that the USA will not have another Cuba on its backdoor. Chavez seems to think he is going to replace Castro but democracy is coming to Cuba and South America mainly beacuse of American policy and what President GW Bush has put in place over his eight years in office.

    Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and not threatening anyone. She is just trying to survive,surrounded by enemies. She has a right to defend herself. The USA supports democracy, and has sent its sons to foreign lands to fight, and die by the thousands, so others can have freedom. I have sent my son, so I know what I am talking about. America is by no means a perfect nation but she is better than most and gives more aid and money to others than any other country in the world.

  15. You say you are not a “spokesman” but goes on to prove you are.
    We of Caribbean origin know that when rich nations see you trying to move ahead, but outside of their sphere of influence, they get very ruffled feathers. Chavez is not accountable to world opinion. The international media hang on his every word. He gets re-elected, not by rigged votes, but because he is popular with the people. I cannot say the same for GWBush. Not only in Florida did they quietly disenfranchise thousands of people, but in other key states also.If the minority state in the Middle East ceased to be supported by my US taxes against my will, we will see how well they will survive. They appear to be a democracy, one in which Jewish women who re not totally covered are thrown off busses. In fact they are a narrow-minded theocracy. Its the Orthodox Jews to whom the government answers.

  16. Well , what do you know , ‘real socialism,’ is alive and well in Venezuela. The former USSR did not achieve it , neither did red China , and certainly Cuba, even after it was propped up for years until 1989 by the Soviets Bear. Unfortunately ,some of you seem to be missing the real issue here. Support for a Chavez ,Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings , Musharef ,or any similar military leader that forcefully seized power, then overnight transform themselves into convenient champions of democracy, is tantamount to rewarding a bold daring bank robber ,with the keys for the city, or a Nobel prize simply because he used most of the stolen loot to build hospitals ,and schools for poor kids.
    Few seems capable of answering the question as to why colonialism as practiced by Socialist ,is more palatable than that of capitalist.
    In addition , a more fundamental question that needs to be addressed after all the denunciations of our paltry attempts at democracy in sweet T&T is, would we like to replicate the Chavez experiment here?
    If so , then it’s come on Tethron boys , your nation needs you to stand up and be counted.
    What folly! A people that would prefer to loose an arm or a leg ,as opposed to their illustrious carnival are salivating about emulating long suffering Cubans and Venezuelans, in terms of monumental sacrifices.Who are we kidding. If that was really the case ,we would be a fundamentalist Islamic State by now with cousin Abu Baker at the helm, and all his closet financial and political supporters in the grave.

  17. And what did you make of the Bush vote in 2000, especially in Florida, and the Supreme court ruling that there will be no more recounts, and the disenfranchising of a number of minority voters all over the US, based on traffic fines and so on?Now in Texas, harris county, I SAW police cars circling voting places, lights and sirens blaring in 2004, reminiscent of the day of 9/11. It apparently scared a number of minor offenders from turning up t vote. The outvoted Sherrif of the country tried the same thing at polling stations in 2008, but it was reported and a very organized Democratic Party officials, rushed to the scene. The sherrif lost to a challenger. These occur in the Greatest Democracy. Now two judges are charged and convictedof sexual assult, one a Federal judge jailed for twenty years for sexual assault of his two subordinates, and one convicted on Friday of offering to dismis drunk Driving Charge if the woman charged slept with him. He too will be dismissed from his judgeship. Democracy is returning to America. meanwhile, the people of Venezuela at the barrio level are doing better.
    I am expected to support a number of views based on education and opportunity, but I am about justice and the rights of the poor.

  18. The last post here is dated December 2009. We are in March of 2010, and I read in the Internet that Chavez is proposing censoring the Internet in Venezuela. Venezuela’s electrical grid is about to collapse for lack of maintenance.
    Does anybody here still think he is not a nut job?

  19. Well done Jay, but don’t expect to hear much denouncians from the military buffon’s fervent apologist, and enarmored supporters ,that would never dare to live in Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and ‘allegedly democratic China,’ if you threatened to skin them with a George Street orange vendor’s carving knife , and bury them alive in the middle of Woodford Square.

  20. Well said Jay, but don’t expect to see anytime soon any form of denounciations from life long socialist apologist , and enarmord fans of this military buffon, that won’t recognize democracy , justice and civil rights if it was planted on an armed tank and sent to destroy his lofty persidential ,imperial ,palace.
    Ain’t it ironic that many of these phonies would talk the talk to impress young , naive ,impressionable minds , but would not dare to live in Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and China even if you threatened to skin them with a George Street Orange vendor’s carving knife, then bury them alive in the middle of Woodford Square?

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