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(photo credit: AP [file])
Dear President Chavez,
I sat among 70,000 people at the alternative Summit of the Americas through three hours of your bonhomie and macho rhetoric. In the pouring rain, we were all drenched in the Mar del Plata open-air stadium. We were hostages to your oratory, as there was simply no unguarded way out.
Among all your "compaÃ±eros," perhaps, it would not be disrespectful to address you as Hugo.
On Christmas Eve, two years ago we gently advised that your speech about "the killers of our Lord, who own most of the world's resources" was politically incorrect in that it gave too much credit to old Church tales, and we knew how you felt about the Church.
Perhaps you really had taken on board the obsessions of your old friend - Argentine neo-fascist Norberto Ceresole - regarding the Russian czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. We tried to tell you that sufferers of obsessive-compulsive disorder with respect to the world Jewish conspiracy can really fall off the edge.
Then you sent your secret police into the Caracas Jewish School to scare the kids and the mothers. Not very macho, Hugo, but you were not there. The school incursion took place just as you were landing in Teheran and somebody had to inaugurate the Caracas-Teheran flight of Iran Air. After all, they do not have many destinations, or was it the miles?
It was probably on arrival, Hugo, that you learned from your other friend, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that the Holocaust was a lie. And if so, perhaps you thought some of those missing millions may have reached Latin America, and especially Venezuela. Is that not why you signed the Declaration Against Antisemitism with Argentina and Brazil a few weeks ago? Just in case? Now, the Caracas synagogue was attacked by thieves in the night. Not very macho. Like rats emerging from tunnels, they desecrated the Torah scrolls and the prayer hall with obscene scrawls, but did they steal the silver? No, they only stole the computers.
Hugo, what could they find on those hard disks? Lists of Jewish families who are not registered at the Jewish schools, who own most of the resources, maybe who go to church on Sunday, perhaps even sit in rain-drenched stadiums listening to you.
Hugo, there is a danger; remember when the king of Spain told you to "shut up"? Real anti-macho, but just think that so many Spaniards are of Marrano origin. And his majesty's official titles also include "king of Jerusalem." Was "shut up" a code for "shalom"? Is Chavez perhaps a Jewish name? But you expelled the Israeli ambassador, so moving to Israel is no longer an option for you.
"CompaÃ±ero" Hugo, Jewish power is so complicated, but in any case, welcome to the conspiracy.
The writer is director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Paris.
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